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Christmas Poetry Assessment – Andrew Younger’s Christmas Day, 1947

Final evening within the open shippen

The toddler Jesus lay,

Whereas cows stood on the hay-crib

Twitching the candy hay.

As I trudged by the snow-fields

That lay in their very own gentle,

A thorn-bush with its shadow

Stood doubled on the evening.

And I stayed on my journey

To take heed to the cheep

Of a small chook within the thorn-bush

I woke from its puffed sleep.

The brilliant stars had been my angels

And with the heavenly host

I sang reward to the Father,

The Son and Holy Ghost.

Younger’s poem Christmas Day may be very Christmassy poetry to say that the phrase ‘Christmas’ doesn’t characteristic in it in any respect other than within the title. It invokes in me a Christmas picture of nice peacefulness: a way more conventional and nice picture of Xmas than the drunken consumption-fuelled frenzy that I’ve witnessed within the UK in my lifetime.

Studying the primary verse conjures up a picture of the new child child Jesus of Nazareth resting peacefully within the manger and the cows calmly standing there ‘twitching the candy hay’. ‘Twitching’ describes a jerky motion, however I think about the hay to be comfortable as a child’s mattress, and the cows to be gently twitching, in any other case they would not be tolerated so close by!

I wish to think about that the poem is a first-hand account by one of many shepherds who visited the new child Jesus within the steady and was wending his weary means dwelling on the very first Christmas morning. However maybe Younger meant to depict Xmas Day a few years later quite than the unique Christmas Day! The Bible would not point out that it was snowing on the unique Christmas Day. It does snow in Bethlehem, however solely hardly ever, and also you by no means get thick snow that it’s a must to ‘trudge’ by. Certainly the shepherds would not have left their sheep outdoors, as within the Christmas nativity story, if it was snowing anyway! Nonetheless, the inclusion of snow contributes properly to the Christmas really feel of the poem, bringing Berlin’s tune “I am dreaming of a White Christmas” and the dulcet tones of Bing Crosby to thoughts.

I personally keep in mind trudging by crisp powdery snow on Christmas Day 1995 in Yorkshire, UK and I do recollect it being very peaceable. The magical Christmas feeling was within the air regardless that there weren’t any folks round. The streets had been abandoned: everybody at dwelling with their households on such a big day.

The snow-fields within the poem are described, with beautiful comfortable alliteration, as ‘laying in their very own gentle’. It might in all probability have been fairly darkish if the birds had been nonetheless sleeping, however one can think about the magical gentle of the snow and shiny stars. The softness of infants and whiteness of snow and stars is hereby contrasted with a prickly thorn-bush at nighttime evening. However this black/white dualism is immediately tossed to at least one aspect, the writer, experiencing with marvel the interconnectedness of every part: himself, the chook, bush and evening. Andrew Younger is alleged to have been keen on strolling and observing wildlife and nature (see http://www.templevillage.org.uk/temple/people_01.html ). It isn’t shocking that he wrote such a poem.

Younger definitely identifies with animals, seeming sorry to have woken the chook from its ‘puffed sleep’. What an awesome and easy description for the chook! Via only one adjective we think about the chook to have been quick asleep with all its feathers overrated, and even maybe having puffy eyes like people do when they’re rudely woke up.

The final verse rounds the poem off magnificently. I really like the metaphor ‘The brilliant stars had been my angels’. And the great alliteration ‘heavenly host’ brings immediately to my thoughts’s ear a big military of angels singing together with Younger. I think about them to be singing reward for the infant Jesus, in addition to the snow, the chook and the bush. The singing of reward on this poem can also maybe be linked to the large reduction of peace that may have nonetheless been felt on the time, the poem having been revealed in 1947, not very lengthy after the tip of WWII.

The construction of this Christmas poem is easy with the tip of the 2nd and 4th strains of every verse rhyming. Making an allowance for the syllabic density of some phrases every line will be learn as an iambic trimeter.

I sit up for studying different different and maybe extra thorough evaluations of this poem.

Hope everybody has a peaceable Christmas!

Supply by Helen Silverwood

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