When I saw Christmas decorations and trees begin to populate Milwaukee’s Cathedral Square Park as early as November 1st, I thought, Is it that time of year already? Unbelievable. With this weekend’s snowfall, the Cathedral Square Park’s decorated Christmas trees looks particularly Decemberish.
Earlier this month I searched online for some Christmas card ideas. Imagine my surprise when the search displayed a block print I created five years ago.
It seems so long ago and so far away. So much has happened in those few short years that it is difficult to catalog. Curiously, I clicked in the Pinterest link. Then I read the original blog post. It is the most visited post on the blog.
For the last few years, I have received modest feedback on a post I published titled “Advent Poems (or the 12 days of Christmas poetry).” The most intriguing comment regarded a poem by W. S. Beattie. I could not locate the poem online. And the mystery of it excited me. Are there really poems people read that are not on the internet? I thought to myself. A lovely thought.
This year, a digital trail lead me to a PDF file posted by the Brentwood United Reformed Church. Here is the poem recommended by a reader with the preface that the poem’s topic regards the misuse of Advent.
by W.S. Beattie
These are the greedy days.
It used to be
That Advent was a longing fast,
A time to feel our need
in faith and tingling hope
And keen-eyed looking forward.
Now we cannot wait
But day by day and week by week
We celebrate obsessively
Clutching at Christmas.
When at last it comes,
The day itself,
Our glass is empty.
We have held the feast
Already, and the news is stale
Before it ever reaches us.
We cheat ourselves.
Yet – somehow – still we hope
In these spoiled days
That there may be a child.
It is a humble poem with a good reminder.
Another reader suggested the inclusion of T. S. Eliot’s “Journey of the Magi.”
And yet another reader pointed me in the direction of Biola University’s Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts (CCCA) The Advent Project. I truly enjoy CCCA’s Advent project as it includes art, literature, music and video.
I need to revisit my “12 days of Advent” poetry list. Maybe next year it will expand to a “24 Days of Advent” poetry list. For now, please enjoy reading 12 days of Advent poems.
- Day 1 – “Annunciation” by Denise Levertov
- Day 2 – “Advent Calendar” by Rowan Williams
- Day 3 – “Advent” by Donald Hall
- Day 4 – “Mosaic of the Nativity (Serbia, Winter 1993)” by Jane Kenyon
- Day 5 – “The God We Hardly Knew” by Óscar Romero
- Day 6 – “The House of Christmas” by GK Chesterton
- Day 7 – “Into The Darkest Hour” by Madeleine L’Engle
- Day 8 – “The Winter Is Cold, Is Cold” by Madeleine L’Engle
- Day 9 – “Nativity” by John Donne
- Day 10 – “A Christmas Carol” by Christina Georgina Rossetti
- Day 11 – “Mighty Mercy” by John Piper
- Day 12 – “For Christmas Day” by Charles Wesley
 Advent Poems (or 12 days of poetry) https://coffeehousejunkie.net/2012/12/13/2013-advent-poems-or-the-12-days-of-christmas-poetry/
 Brentwood United Reformed Church, The Courier, December 2014/January 2015. Accessed December 11, 2017. http://www.brentwood-urc.org.uk/The%20COURIER%20-%20Dec%20January%202015.pdf
 The Poetry Archive, T. S. Eliot, “Journey of the Magi,” accessed December 11, 2017. https://www.poetryarchive.org/poem/journey-magi
 Biola University, Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts (CCCA), The Advent Project, accessed December 11, 2017. http://ccca.biola.edu/advent/2017/#day-dec-7