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Best Famous Christmas Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Christmas poems. This is a select list of the best famous Christmas poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Christmas poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of christmas poems.

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by Christina Rossetti | |

Before The Paling Of The Stars

 Before the winter morn,
Before the earliest cock crow,
Jesus Christ was born:
Born in a stable,
Cradled in a manger,
In the world his hands had made
Born a stranger.
Priest and king lay fast asleep In Jerusalem; Young and old lay fast asleep In crowded Bethlehem; Saint and angel, ox and ass, Kept a watch together Before the Christmas daybreak In the winter weather.
Jesus on his mother's breast In the stable cold, Spotless lamb of God was he, Shepherd of the fold: Let us kneel with Mary maid, With Joseph bent and hoary, With saint and angel, ox and ass, To hail the King of Glory.


by Delmore Schwartz | |

Occasional Poems

 I Christmas Poem for Nancy

Noel, Noel
We live and we die
Between heaven and hell
Between the earth and the sky
And all shall be well
And all shall be unwell
And once again! all shall once again!
 All shall be well
By the ringing and the swinging
 of the great beautiful holiday bell
Of Noel! Noel!

II Salute Valentine

I'll drink to thee only with my eyes
When two are three and four,
And guzzle reality's rise and cries
And praise the truth beyond surmise
When small shots shout: More! More! More! More!

III Rabbi to Preach

Rabbi Robert Raaba will preach
 on "An Eye for an Eye"
 (an I for an I?)
(Two weeks from this week: "On the Sacred Would")
At Temple Sholem on Lake Shore Drive
- Pavel Slavensky will chant the liturgical responses
And William Leon, having now thirteen years
 will thank his parents that he exists
To celebrate his birthday of manhood, his chocolate 
Bar Mitzvah, his yum-yum kippered herring, his Russian
 Corona.


by Anne Sexton | |

The Author Of The Jesus Papers Speaks

 In my dream
I milked a cow,
the terrible udder
like a great rubber lily
sweated in my fingers
and as I yanked,
waiting for the moon juice,
waiting for the white mother,
blood spurted from it
and covered me with shame.
Then God spoke to me and said: People say only good things about Christmas.
If they want to say something bad, they whisper.
So I went to the well and drew a baby out of the hollow water.
Then God spoke to me and said: Here.
Take this gingerbread lady and put her in your oven.
When the cow gives blood and the Christ is born we must all eat sacrifices.
We must all eat beautiful women.


by Elizabeth Bishop | |

Lines Written In The Fannie Farmer Cookbook

 You won't become a gourmet* cook 
By studying our Fannie's book-- 
Her thoughts on Food & Keeping House 
Are scarcely those of Lévi-Strauss.
Nevertheless, you'll find, Frank dear, The basic elements** are here.
And if a problem should arise: The Soufflé fall before your eyes, Or strange things happen to the Rice --You know I love to give advice.
Elizabeth Christmas, 1971 * Forbidden word ** Forbidden phrase P.
S.
Fannie should not be underrated; She has become sophisticated.
She's picked up many gourmet* tricks Since the edition of '96.


by William Matthews | |

Poem (The lump of coal my parents teased)

 The lump of coal my parents teased
I'd find in my Christmas stocking
turned out each year to be an orange,
for I was their sunshine.
Now I have one C.
gave me, a dense node of sleeping fire.
I keep it where I read and write.
"You're on chummy terms with dread," it reminds me.
"You kiss ambivalence on both cheeks.
But if you close your heart to me ever I'll wreathe you in flames and convert you to energy.
" I don't know what C.
meant me to mind by her gift, but the sun returns unbidden.
Books get read and written.
My mother comes to visit.
My father's dead.
Love needs to be set alight again and again, and in thanks for tending it, will do its very best not to consume us.


by George Meredith | |

Modern Love XXIII: Tis Christmas Weather

 'Tis Christmas weather, and a country house 
Receives us: rooms are full: we can but get 
An attic-crib.
Such lovers will not fret At that, it is half-said.
The great carouse Knocks hard upon the midnight's hollow door, But when I knock at hers, I see the pit.
Why did I come here in that dullard fit? I enter, and lie couched upon the floor.
Passing, I caught the coverlet's quick beat:-- Come, Shame, burn to my soul! and Pride, and Pain-- Foul demons that have tortured me, enchain! Out in the freezing darkness the lambs bleat.
The small bird stiffens in the low starlight.
I know not how, but shuddering as I slept, I dreamed a banished angel to me crept: My feet were nourished on her breasts all night.


by James Wright | |

Having Lost My Sons I Confront The Wreckage Of The Moon: Christmas 1960

 After dark
Near the South Dakota border,
The moon is out hunting, everywhere,
Delivering fire,
And walking down hallways
Of a diamond.
Behind a tree, It ights on the ruins Of a white city Frost, frost.
Where are they gone Who lived there? Bundled away under wings And dark faces.
I am sick Of it, and I go on Living, alone, alone, Past the charred silos, past the hidden graves Of Chippewas and Norwegians.
This cold winter Moon spills the inhuman fire Of jewels Into my hands.
Dead riches, dead hands, the moon Darkens, And I am lost in the beautiful white ruins Of America.


by Robert William Service | |

Someones Mother

 Someone's Mother trails the street
Wrapt in rotted rags;
Broken slippers on her feet
Drearily she drags;
Drifting in the bitter night,
Gnawing gutter bread,
With a face of tallow white,
Listless as the dead.
Someone's Mother in the dim Of the grey church wall Hears within a Christmas hymn, One she can recall From the h so long ago, When divinely far, in the holy alter glow She would kneel in prayer.
Someone's Mother, huddled there, Had so sweet a dream; Seemed the sky was Heaven's stair, Golden and agleam, Robed in gown Communion bright, Singingly she trod Up and up the stair of light, And thee was waiting - God.
Someone's Mother cowers down By the old church wall; Soft above the sleeping town Snow begins to fall; Now her rags are lily fair, but unproud is she: Someone's Mother is not there .
.
.
Lo! she climbs the starry stair Only angels see.


by Robert William Service | |

The Sceptic

 My Father Christmas passed away
When I was barely seven.
At twenty-one, alack-a-day, I lost my hope of heaven.
Yet not in either lies the curse: The hell of it's because I don't know which loss hurt the worse -- My God or Santa Claus.


by Robert William Service | |

The Dream

 Said Will: "I'll stay and till the land.
" Said Jack: "I'll sail the sea.
" So one went forth kit-bag in hand, The other ploughed the lea.
They met again at Christmas-tide, And wistful were the two.
Said Jack: "you're lucky here to bide.
" Said Will: "I envy you.
" "For in your eyes a light I see Of tropic shores agleam.
" Said Jack: "You need not envy me, For still you have the Dream.
"The Dream that lured me out to sea; 'Twas bright as paradise; Far fairer than the memory You see within my eyes.
So if my foolish urge you share In foreign lands to roam, Take up my kit-bag waiting there And I will stay at home.
" * * * * * * * * Yet while the years have fated Will To sow the sober loam, The eyes of Jack are starry still, High-riding hills of foam.


by Sylvia Plath | |

Balloons

 Since Christmas they have lived with us,
Guileless and clear,
Oval soul-animals,
Taking up half the space,
Moving and rubbing on the silk

Invisible air drifts,
Giving a shriek and pop
When attacked, then scooting to rest, barely trembling.
Yellow cathead, blue fish ---- Such queer moons we live with Instead of dead furniture! Straw mats, white walls And these traveling Globes of thin air, red, green, Delighting The heart like wishes or free Peacocks blessing Old ground with a feather Beaten in starry metals.
Your small Brother is making His balloon squeak like a cat.
Seeming to see A funny pink world he might eat on the other side of it, He bites, Then sits Back, fat jug Contemplating a world clear as water.
A red Shred in his little fist.


by Rg Gregory | |

christmas the delinquent

 i got nothing last year
and i expect nothing this
so i've got to find
if i'm to be rewarded

so all good people
you'd better learn to give
from the goodness of your heart 
or at knife-point

i'm a taker by trade
takers is keepers
it won't hurt you to bleed
it's a good colour - red

give of your blood
you're not having mine
i'm the collector
santa looks after himself

your birthright - get lost
when i'm on my rounds
what i see i snaffle
that's today's lesson

give to santa - or
i'll cut your throat
that's today's christmas
the future looks good


by Rg Gregory | |

bad for ears

 the song wasn't up to the task
of getting through the double-glazing
into the ears pressed on the outside pane
the rest of their bodies had faded away but
the ears were straining still towards the music
in order to know the good times being had in the room
night fell the cold grew and the lights went out but
the ears hung around believing in music until
they froze and dropped to the ground like
slugs that had missed out on the seasons
it was a bad christmas for ears


by Rg Gregory | |

at the sixty-ninth station

 (after hiroshige – stations of oi)

here at the sixty-ninth station
of the gregokaido road
i have a sense of completion
that is not completed yet

the long journey to this moment
has many disparate paths
fragments of people within me
have stuttered their broken mantras

what a bowl of uneasy pieces
litters the well of my bed - my name
doesn't know how to welcome
tomorrow with its single demands

this christmas will say goodbye
to the last traces of middle age
the sere's banners will be ready
to set off on its late procession

i have not gathered myselves together
with anything like that composure
wisdom and age should concoct
i have lost control of my strivings

christmas a game of new birth
the light giving hope to the dark
i wish i had the will to recover
the young coals that kept me bright


by Rg Gregory | |

wimborne minster

 though there's not much faith left 
and very little snow
this scene of wimborne minster
still makes its christmas show

the building's warm proportions
its sense of move-me-not
catches this winter pagan
on a most forgiving spot

christmas itself unwinds
back to that moment when
mind first let a light in
and darkness cried amen

shopping today i glide
casually on worn ice
the ocean holds its breath
prehistory hides its price

the minster's not my pigeon 
yet moons upon the town
as if no one can walk there
lost to its looking down

in me some old anger
shocks its ailing ghost
lets the festive transport
use me as its staging post

however the time is barren
and so much mutters no
i share my godless pleasure
with the minster clad in snow


by Thomas Hood | |

Christmas Holidays

 Along the Woodford road there comes a noise 
Of wheels, and Mr.
Rounding's neat post-chaise Struggles along, drawn by a pair of bays, With Reverend Mr.
Crow and six small boys, Who ever and anon declare their joys With trumping horns and juvenile huzzas, At going home to spend their Christmas days, And changing learning's pains for pleasure's toys.
Six weeks elapse, and down the Woodford way A heavy coach drags six more heavy souls, But no glad urchins shout, no trumpets bray, The carriage makes a halt, the gate-bell tolls, And little boys walk in as dull and mum As six new scholars to the Deaf and Dumb!


by David Lehman | |

December 25

 Christmas defeated Chanukah
once again last night
by a margin of three billion dollars
or so, but every time I hear
a Yiddish word like bupkes
in a movie (L.
A.
Confidential) or when Oleg Cassini in that new play Jackie calls a garment a shmatta, it's "good for the Jews," as our parents used to say.
Meanwhile some things have stayed the same; the drunken lout in the street is still somebody's father.
Hey, kid, how does it feel to have a pop that's a flop? And we had such good ideas for changing the mental universe, if only as a project in philosophy class, the one I still dream about failing when I have that dream everybody has, of being back in college and needing this one course to graduate, which I forgot to attend


by Vachel Lindsay | |

This Section is a Christmas Tree

 THIS section is a Christmas tree: 
Loaded with pretty toys for you.
Behold the blocks, the Noah's arks, The popguns painted red and blue.
No solemn pine-cone forest-fruit, But silver horns and candy sacks And many little tinsel hearts And cherubs pink, and jumping-jacks.
For every child a gift, I hope.
The doll upon the topmost bough Is mine.
But all the rest are yours.
And I will light the candles now.


by Vachel Lindsay | |

Star of My Heart

 Star of my heart, I follow from afar.
Sweet Love on high, lead on where shepherds are, Where Time is not, and only dreamers are.
Star from of old, the Magi-Kings are dead And a foolish Saxon seeks the manger-bed.
O lead me to Jehovah's child Across this dreamland lone and wild, Then will I speak this prayer unsaid, And kiss his little haloed head — "My star and I, we love thee, little child.
" Except the Christ be born again to-night In dreams of all men, saints and sons of shame, The world will never see his kingdom bright.
Stars of all hearts, lead onward thro' the night Past death-black deserts, doubts without a name, Past hills of pain and mountains of new sin To that far sky where mystic births begin, Where dreaming ears the angel-song shall win.
Our Christmas shall be rare at dawning there, And each shall find his brother fair, Like a little child within: All hearts of the earth shall find new birth And wake, no more to sin.


by Vachel Lindsay | |

Springfield Magical

 In this, the City of my Discontent, 
Sometimes there comes a whisper from the grass, 
"Romance, Romance — is here.
No Hindu town Is quite so strange.
No Citadel of Brass By Sinbad found, held half such love and hate; No picture-palace in a picture-book Such webs of Friendship, Beauty, Greed and Fate!" In this, the City of my Discontent, Down from the sky, up from the smoking deep Wild legends new and old burn round my bed While trees and grass and men are wrapped in sleep.
Angels come down, with Christmas in their hearts, Gentle, whimsical, laughing, heaven-sent; And, for a day, fair Peace have given me In this, the City of my Discontent!