Dave Astor’s ‘Twas the Write Before Christmas

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-pac
k

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”

21 Replies to “Dave Astor’s ‘Twas the Write Before Christmas”

  1. Thank you, Rebecca for this delightful post to end the old year and look forward to the new one. I just loved the library and bookshelf scenes in the video. You’ve outdone youself with this one!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Liz – you are a wonderful support and encouragement to me. As we move into 2021, I think of the stories that we have created this past year simply by living in the “every day” happenings. I am looking forward to the many adventures that we will experience together! Hugs and more hugs.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. This is truly a really outstanding read. Dave Astor’s brilliant original words are beyond beautiful and cause a reader to not only listen but meditate on his thoughts. Thank you for sharing this outstanding Dave Astor’s poem, but also, for all the beautiful photos of books in various places. This is a real treasure and a “KEEPER” for sure.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am delighted that you enjoyed the recitation. Dave’s humour and wit energize my reading. Looking forward to our reading adventures in 2021.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Dave has a brilliant way of bringing books into every conversation, with humour and knowledge. He energizes our reading experiences. Don and I had so much fun recording ‘Twas the Write Before Christmas.” We spent a great deal of time laughing because I got so excited with reading the poem that my pronunciation of names was skewed. The Great Gatsby was The Great Gabbsy. YIKES! Happy New Year!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Thanks so much, Rebecca! You read the poem SO well (no surprise 🙂 ), and I am very grateful that you chose to do the recitation. I was also so impressed with the overall presentation of the post and the video — the text, all those book images, Virginia Woolf (I think) sitting there, etc. Thank you again!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Dave for the opportunity to recite your poem. It was perfect for the in-between time of Christmas and New Years. Don and I had lots of fun recording the poem. As I mentioned to Mary Jo, you energize our reading experience. Happy New Year. (Doesn’t Virginia Woolf have that faraway look as if she is in a different world.)

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, Elisabeth, I wish you had been here to help me with the pronunciation of Dostoyevsky. I just could not get my mouth to say the word. Don and I spent 15 minutes practicing, which included much laughter. And you know how that goes – the more you laugh, the more you want to laugh. Dave has a brilliant wit which is demonstrated in ‘Twas the Write Before Christmas. Looking forward to a New Year of Reading. “War and Peace” here I come….. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Hahaha, I can just imagine you and Don practicing the pronunciation of Dostoyevsky!
        Dave really does have brilliant wit, it must have been hard to keep yourself from laughing anyway when you read the poem out loud.
        I’m also looking forward to a year of reading, and keen to hear how you get on with War and Peace. But I think you’ll love it!
        Happy New Year!

        Liked by 2 people

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