Friday, 11 December 2009

Poem - Christmas (John Betjeman)

Each day from now until Christmas day one article will be devoted to a subject connected with Christmas. Today we take a look at a christmas poem.

During the summer we ran a series on poems by John Betjeman. On the 15 July we published his poem entitled 'Christmas', now seems an appropriate time to include it again.


The bells of waiting Advent ring,
The Tortoise stove is lit again
And lamp-oil light across the night
Has caught the streaks of winter rain
In many a stained-glass window sheen
From Crimson Lake to Hooker's Green.

The holly in the windy hedge
And round the Manor house the yew
Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge,
The altar, font and arch and pew,
So that the villagers can say
"The church looks nice" on Christmas Day.

Provincial public houses blaze
And Corporation tramcars clang,
On lighted tenements I gaze
Where paper decorations hang,
And bunting in the red Town Hall
Says "Merry Christmas to you all."

And London shops on Christmas Eve
Are strung with silver bells and flowers
As hurrying clerks the City leave
To pigeon-haunted classic towers,
And marbled clouds go scudding by
The many-steepled London sky.

And girls in slacks remember Dad,
And oafish louts remember Mum,
And sleepless children's hearts are glad,
And Christmas-morning bells say "Come!"
Even to shining ones who dwell
Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.

And is it true? And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window's hue,
A baby in an ox's stall?
The maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me?

And is it true? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant.

No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare-
That God was Man in Palestine
And lives to-day in Bread and Wine.

John Betjeman
A Ring Of Bells

Brainteaser - Thursday's Answer

Yesterday's brainteaser took the form of a conundrum. Were you able to work out which object we were lookin for?

The Answer
A Keyboard
Well done if you arrived at the correct answer!

Cool Garage Doors

A German firm called 'Style Your Garage' creates posters for garage doors that make it look as if your garage is where the action is.

Did You Know?

Pinocchio is Italian for "pine head."
Camels milk does not curdle.
In every episode of Seinfield there is a superman somewhere.
Murphy's Oil Soap is the chemical most commonly used to clean elephants.
The United States has never lost a war in which mules were used.
All porcupines float in water.
"Hang On, Snoopy" is the official rock song of Ohio.

Today's Smile

Three boys are in the school yard bragging about their fathers.

The first boy says, "My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, and they give him £25".

The second boy says, "My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a song, and they give him £200".

The third boy says, "My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a sermon, and it takes eight men to collect all the money!"