Friday, January 7, 2011

December Poem of the Month

Since I haven't finished putting away my Christmas decorations and I haven't even blogged about Christmas yet, I figured it wasn't too late to post December's poem of the month (and since I've been a poem-of-the-month slacker lately). I looked this up to post it on Dec 24 and then got side-tracked and never did.

This poem--"Christ Climbed Down" by Lawrence Ferlinghetti-- was controversial at the time it was published in 1958 and still can be today. It may seem sacrilegious, but bear with me because I don't read it like that. I like this poem because every year it seems that I fight to keep Christ ever-present in our Christmas celebrations. Every year, Christmas seems to be hijacked by commercialism and wants and busyness. I see Ferlinghetti addressing that in this poem.

I also like this poem because the end makes me think about what Ferlinghetti might be saying and how this might be true: Christ does have to come again in our own individual, anonymous souls. He does have to be "born again," in effect, or evidenced in our own hearts. Isn't that what Christmas is about after all? This poem is still copyrighted, so I'm only going to include the beginning and the end. You can read the rest here.

Christ Climbed Down
By Lawrence Ferlinghetti

CHRIST climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
there were no rootless Christmas trees
hung with candycanes and breakable stars
. . .
Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
no Bing Crosby carollers
groaned of a tight Christmas
and where no Radio City angels
iceskated wingless
thru a winter wonderland
into a jinglebell heaven
daily at 8:30
with Midnight Mass matinees
Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and softly stole away into
some anonymous Mary's womb again
where in the darkest night
of everybody's anonymous soul
He awaits again
an unimaginable and impossibly
Immaculate Reconception
the very craziest
of Second Comings

Hope you had a great Christmas! I'll be back to report on ours very soon--as soon as those darn Christmas decorations get taken down (I'm intentionally using passive voice, hoping that I don't have to be the one to take them down).

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