Christmas poetry, from our archives

Neville Braybrooke penned "The Christmas Alphabet" for our pages in December 1991. A not completely alphabetical excerpt:

"C" is for Chesterton the schoolboy, whose poem about a wild-eyed savage ended with a line that was to summarize his future attitude to spiritual
matters: "The savage prays to the presence within him that has prompted the heart to pray." ...

"E" is for the evangelists Matthew and Luke and the amazing narrative economy with which they compress the events of the Nativity and Epiphany into less than 1,000 words. ...

"M" is for Milton, whose reference to the Three Kings as "the star-led Wizards" indicated by his spelling that they were Wise Men as well as Magi....

"Q" is for the perennial question asked by every author--"Why do I write?"--and answered in our century by Sylvia Plath, aged fifteen: "'Because there is a voice within me that will not be still." ...

"S" is for the Star of the Sea, one of the most beautiful titles bestowed on the Virgin Mary and brought about by a happy slip when a medieval copyist transcribed stilla maris (drop of the sea) as Stella Maris. ...

For all twenty-six entries, see the full poem here

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