Friday, December 25, 2009

On Christmas

We hope Santa filled your fondest wishes. Ours is that you have Happy Christmas!

Here's today's entry from Hallie's "The Bibliophile's Devotional"

Dec 25

A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

One Christmas was so much like the other, in those years around the sea-town corner now, out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve, or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.

There’s a reason this short story, written in 1955 for radio, has become a classic. The voice of a small child wonders: Could Christmas really have been so different years and years ago. The narrator answers: “Our snow was not only shaken from whitewash buckets down the sky, it came shawling out of the ground and swam and drifted out of the arms and hands and bodies of the trees; snow grew overnight on the roofs of the houses like a pure and grandfather moss, minutely white-ivied the walls and settled on the postman, opening the gate, like a dumb, numb thunderstorm of white, torn Christmas cards.”

The vivid imagery and rolling rhythm of the prose cry out to be read aloud before a roaring fire on Christmas.

Born in Wales in 1914, Dylan Thomas had already begun to make his mark as a poet by the age of eighteen. This work— based on a piece Thomas wrote for the BBC and an article he penned for
Picture Post magazine—was published in a 1954 volume of collected works, Quite Early One Morning, a year after Thomas’s unexpected death at the age of thirty-nine. He is buried in Poet’s Corner at Westminster Abbey.

“In a way Thomas is a simple poet; as with Blake, his prophetic revelations are based upon songs of innocence.”
—Louis MacNeice, New York Times


  1. I have a vinyl recording of Dylan Thomas reading A Child's Christmas in Wales. I'd be happy to share, if it doesn't violate any copyrights (the record dates from 1958--and miracle of miracles, I actually found it). He did have a wonderful voice.

  2. Now we need that gizmo that translates vinyl to digital... (If you have it, we can link to it or post it! I'd so love to hear it. I'll investigate copyright.

  3. John has just bought such a gizmo--cnverts vinyl to mp3s. But he hasn't had time to play with it yet so I can't tell you how effective it is.
    Growing up half Welsh I certainly heard this read enough times when I was a child. Dylan had a wonderful way with words.

    A merry Christmas to all my blog sisters and our faithful friends

  4. Merry Christmas to all..I'm almost finished doing my cards! Yay!

    Much love and xoxo....

  5. Gizmo in hand! (My Christmas gift to my husband--he has a lot of older blues albums he can't even listen to these days.) I can see we're going to be very, very busy for a while...