Poetically Speaking: The Christmas Life by Wendy Cope

Christmas Wreath

I’m a big fan of Wendy Cope and have featured other poems by her on these pages before.  I have chosen’The Christmas Life” as this weeks Christmas poem. This poem was written following a converstation she had with an 8 year old girl.  My favourite line is  ‘Bring in your tears for all that you have lost’.  Much as Christmas is a happy, celebratory  time, by its very nature it magnifies sadness and loss and without being sentimental I think this poem captures that entwining it with hope and joy.

The Christmas Life by Wendy Cope

“If you don’t have a real tree you don’t bring the Christmas life into the house.” Josephine Mackinnon, aged 8

Bring in a tree, a young Norwegian spruce,
Bring hyacinths that rooted in the cold.
Bring winter jasmine as its buds unfold –
Bring the Christmas life into this house.

Bring red and green and gold, bring things that shine,
Bring candlesticks and music, food and wine.
Bring in your memories of Christmas past.
Bring in your tears for all that you have lost.

Bring in the shepherd boy, the ox and ass,
Bring in the stillness of an icy night,
Bring in the birth, of hope and love and light.
Bring the Christmas life into this house.

By Wendy Cope, from If I Don’t Know (Faber)


  1. Karen
    December 10, 2016 / 10:08 pm

    What a lovely poem. Thanks for sharing, Angie xx

    • angiev@blueyonder.co.uk
      December 15, 2016 / 8:57 pm

      I love it too. I think you would like Wendy Cope. She seems to capture moods and moments so perfectly.

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