Christmas Eve by Christina Rossetti

Image by Linda Richardson

Image by Linda Richardson

In my Advent Anthology from Canterbury Press Waiting on the Word,The poem I have chosen for Christmas Eve, is  Christmas Eve by Christina Rossetti. You can hear me read this poem by clicking on the title or the play button. the image above was created by Linda Richardson for her book of responses to waiting on the word. Linda writes:

Some years ago I had the wonderful privilege of seeing ‘Dance’ by Henri Matisse. It was the one kept at The Hermitage, St Petersburg, and it was brought to London for an exhibition. It is nearly four meters wide and unlike like one in New York, the figures are not pink but a glowing orange, like reflected fire light. I was utterly overwhelmed when I saw it, and I was moved to tears.

The words, ‘For Christmas bringeth Jesus”, echo through today’s poem and are for me, the centre of all this season’s activity and the reason for our joy and celebration. In the image I painted there is no speech except that of the wildly dancing figures. They are intent on celebrating the Word made flesh, through their own flesh, and all around them the trees join in the dance. Above them the birds wheel about with the clouds and stars and the whole of creation redounds in joy and praise.

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Isaiah 55

 

You can find you can find the words, and a short reflective essay on this poem in Waiting on the Word, which is now also available on Kindle

I should add that unfortunately the little word ‘a’ was committed from the first line in the printing of the anthology, which slightly spoils the rhythm. You can hear me read the proper text on this recording and I also post that corrected text below:

Christmas Eve

 

CHRISTMAS hath a darkness

Brighter than the blazing noon,

Christmas hath a chillness

Warmer than the heat of June,

Christmas hath a beauty

Lovelier than the world can show:

For Christmas bringeth Jesus,

Brought for us so low.

 

Earth, strike up your music,

Birds that sing and bells that ring;

Heaven hath answering music

For all Angels soon to sing:

Earth, put on your whitest

Bridal robe of spotless snow:

For Christmas bringeth Jesus,

Brought for us so low.

6 Comments

Filed under christianity, Poems

6 responses to “Christmas Eve by Christina Rossetti

  1. Jim Hinshaw

    Profoundly good poem choice for me Malcolm. Thanks. Merry Christmas !
    Grace and Peace Jim

  2. deweysmamasquirrel

    We are going to use the poem and the artist’s reflections as our family Christmas Eve devotion tonight. Thank you!

  3. “In thy light shall we see light”, is the verse this brought to mind. Psalm 36: 9.

  4. matthia langone

    please keep me on your mailing list.

    word press sent a confusing note.

    thank you

    ________________________________ From: Malcolm Guite Sent: December 23, 2016 11:27 PM To: mousehouse2@hotmail.com Subject: [New post] Christmas Eve by Christina Rossetti

    malcolmguite posted: ” In my Advent Anthology from Canterbury Press Waiting on the Word,The poem I have chosen for Christmas Eve, is Christmas Eve by Christina Rossetti. You can hear me read this poem by clicking on the title or the play button. the image above was created” Respond to this post by replying above this line

    New post on Malcolm Guite [http://s0.wp.com/i/emails/blavatar.png] [http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/df1fb33c5dd62704867cb9f6188fa41c?s=50&d=identicon&r=G] Christmas Eve by Christina Rossetti by malcolmguite

    [Image by Linda Richardson]

    Image by Linda Richardson

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