Category Archives: Poetry

John O’Donohue reads his poem “The Nativity”

Renowned Irish poet John O’Donohue (1956–2008) wrote a poem on each of the Fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary, a set of meditations on key events in the life of Jesus. These are published, along with other poems, in his 2001 … Continue reading

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The Christmas song that gets me every time

I am very rarely moved to tears by music. But “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” is one song that consistently evokes that reaction in me. The acclaimed American poet Henry Wordsworth Longfellow wrote the words on December 25, … Continue reading

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Poem analysis: “Gratefulness” by George Herbert

The first two lines of George Herbert’s poem “Gratefulness,” a petitionary prayer to God, are often quoted at this time of year: “Thou that hast given so much to me, give one more thing: a grateful heart.” It’s a sweet … Continue reading

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Holiday ritual in the boyhood home of Jesus

Here meet together the prefiguring day And day prefigured. ‘Eating, thou shalt stand, Feet shod, loins girt, thy road-staff in thine hand, With blood-stained door and lintel,’ — did God say By Moses’ mouth in ages passed away. And now, … Continue reading

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“Life, a Bubble” by William Drummond (1585-1649)

This Life, which seems so fair, Is like a bubble blown up in the air By sporting children’s breath, Who chase it everywhere And strive who can most motion it bequeath. And though it sometimes seem of its own might, … Continue reading

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“Welcome, all wonders . . .”

“Welcome, all wonders in one sight! Eternity shut in a span! Summer in winter, day in night, Heaven in earth, and God in man! Great little One! whose all-embracing birth Lifts earth to heaven, stoops heaven to earth.” —Chorus from … Continue reading

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The Christmas Truce of 1914

This December marks the centennial of the famous ceasefire along the Western Front during World War I. On Christmas Eve, 1914, along the four-hundred-mile frontline, enemy soldiers spontaneously emerged from their trenches, arms laid aside, to celebrate Christ’s birth together. … Continue reading

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