The week between Christmas and News Years is a time of reflection and anticipation. The days are mellow, with the festive glow gently prompting us to look back to where we have been even as we look forward to where we are heading next.
Poignancy and anticipation invite us to invest in the present moment. As Edith Sitwell, advises, “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
This winter, the duo of tea and books will take on new meaning within our continuing solitude.
My books have been neatly stacked and tea is at hand. And in this joyful spirit of reading, I think of Dave Astor’s literary version of Clement Clark Moore’s famous poem “A Visit from St. Nicolas, which he posted on December 13, 2020.
I am beyond thrilled that Dave game his permission for me to recite, ‘Twas the WRITE Before Christmas. Thank you Dave!
My dear friends, please join me in reciting this heartwarming poem that says thank you for the past year even as we welcome 2021.
I invite you to visit Dave at Dave Astor on Literature, where books and stories come alive.
Dave Astor’s literary version of Clement Clarke Moore’s famous poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”:
Twas 12 days before Christmas, and all through the nook
Few things are more stirring than reading a book
The novels are stacked by the chimney with care
To read or reread, like the stellar Jane Eyre
The children are nestled all snug in their beds
Too young for Dostoyevsky to mess with their heads
My wife at her desk and the cat in my lap
To read George Eliot beats taking a nap
Then outside the window there arose such a clatter
As if Jack Reacher had made all the bad guys scatter
To that window I raced (I did not totter)
As fast as Voldemort chased Harry Potter
The moon shone down on Outlander-ish snow
Evoking ghostly visions of Edgar A. Poe
When what to my wondering eyes’ insistence
Appeared Ruth the librarian and eight assistants
Ruth read Tolstoy’s novels so lively and quick
I knew in a moment she wasn’t St. Nick
Her book faves came faster than Zadie Smith quips
She laughed and she shouted and said with her lips:
“Now, Hobbit! Now, Huck Finn! Now, Rob Roy and Moby!
On, Zora! On, Liane! On, Jhumpa and Toni!
To the top of to-read lists! Best-seller lists, too!
Whether dead or alive, they belong in your queue!”
The wind took book pages and made them fly
Up into the air: The Sheltering Sky
On top of the house the library team rose
Their cart full of fiction: Remarque-able prose
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
“Colette’s Claudine at School is such a fun goof”
As I drew in my head, and spun all around,
Down the chimney plunged Ruth, not Ezra Pound
Sue Grafton mysteries that had come in the mail
Stephen King novels streaked with ashes and hail
Even more books that Ruth had flung on her back
Including The Scarlet Letter in “A” big Nat-pack
Those books, how they twinkled! The titles so many!
Atwood and Baldwin and Louise (last name Penny)
Marquez magic realism and valet Jeeves
And Lily Bart in Mirth — any reader grieves
Ruth knows William Faulkner put a pipe in his mouth
And To Kill a Mockingbird is set in the South
And Winnie the Pooh has a little round belly
And Don Quixote “lived” before Mary Shelley
And Thomas Hardy was hardly a jolly old elf
And Of Human Bondage was based on Maugham himself
But don’t read Agatha Christie prior to bed
To avoid waking up feeling nothing but dread
Ruth, as The Pathfinder, decides on a path
Fills stockings with novels, like The Grapes of Wrath
She then mutters Vonnegut’s phrase “So it goes”
And back up the chimney the librarian rose
She sprang again on the cart, and gave a whistle
And away that crew flew like a sci-fi missile
But I heard Ruth exclaim, before she soared out of sight
“The Great Gatsby is better than Tender Is the Night”