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Christmas Please!: 100 Poems on the Festive Season Paperback – 4 Sep 2003
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A must-have collection of seasonal poems, accompanied by stunning watercolour illustrations.
About the Author
Douglas Brooks-Davies was born in Wimbledon in 1942, and educated at Merchant Taylors' School, Crosby and Brasenose College, Oxford. Formerly Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Manchester, where he remains an Honorary Research fellow, he has published widely on Renaissance and later literature, and is now a freelance writer. His hobbies include gardening, singing, and playing the oboe.
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In his interesting introduction to the collection, Douglas Brooks-Davies explains the evolution of the Christmas poem throughout history and how its focus as been affected by factors such as the social climate, politics and current fashions. His explanation is erudite but accessible and is definitely worth reading. As well as being fascinating in its own right, the introduction also explains the scope of the collection, which is essentially a history of Christmas poetry, ranging from anonymous medieval poems in praise of the Madonna and Child to John Betjeman's wonderful poem simply titled `Christmas', which remains one of my favourites. Because of the historical focus of the collection, the content is quite heavily biased towards religious poems and so this book may not be for those just looking for some festive entertainment, but after all that is the reason behind Christmas.
My only complaints about this book are regarding the organisation. Firstly, books without page numbers drive me insane and although the poems in Christmas Please! are numbered, the pages are not. I know there's a newer edition of the book since mine was published so hopefully this one has page numbers. I also wasn't keen on the way that the poems were organised alphabetically by author, with anonymous offerings thrown in at random. I think that, given the introduction, it would have been far more interesting to have the poems organised chronologically and it feels like a missed opportunity. This is definitely a collection to revisit though.
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Christmas. I just had to have one and for myself.Read more