Post Series: Advent: Poetry topic idea: Christmas symbols

Throughout Advent and through the Christmas season you are likely to encounter a number of Christmas symbols.  This includes things like stars, wreaths, Christmas trees, ornaments, candy canes, presents, nutcrackers, and so forth.

You could explore these different symbols in poetry.  You could take some time to learn about their history, their original meanings, their current meanings, how their meanings have changed over time, and how Christian symbolism can be applied to them.

You could either pick one topic such as stars, and explore it in depth, or you could explore a number of different topics in one poem.

This exercise could be a good learning experience about Christmas symbols and it could help you to explain them to others.  It could also be a good exercise to learn about and apply Christian symbolism to the different symbols, both those that started with them, and those that had them applied later.

Here is an example poem looking at stars:

As you place the star,
atop the tree,
and plug the plug,
turn down the lights,
and watch it shine,
think back,
to that one star,
that brought men from the east,
hundreds or thousands of miles,
in search of someone,
they had never met,
whose name they did not know,
whose story they had not heard.

Think about,
how they may have seemed,
to those who knew them.

How strange it must have seemed,
to hear them say,
they were following a light,
to an unknown place.

Think about the journey they took,
the hardships they encountered,
and the faith the must have had.

Think about what they left,
what they risked,
and who they found.

As you look at the star,
atop your tree,
think back,
to that one star,
and see it,
in a new light.

Poem with an explanation: There is joy

There is joy,
for nothing is the same.

Before,
no matter what,
all was lost.

Now,
no matter what,
all is won.

Floating in nothingness,
seeing it all crumble,
realizing it will be burned,
it made the greatest endeavors,
into sand castles.

But here,
but now,
but after unspeakable triumph,
all has meaning,
all has purpose,
all has fulfilment.

There is joy,
for nothing is the same.

 

Yesterday was Easter (Pascha).  Happy Easter!  Easter, is what this poem’s about.

The poem examines the reality of life and death before The Resurrection and after.  The poem follows a pattern of before and after.

In terms of the pattern, the stanzas are: 1st – after, 2nd – before, 3rd – after, 4th – before, 5th – after, 6th – after.

The poem uses the alternation found in stanzas 2 – 5 to compare and contrast the reality of life and death before and after The Resurrection.  It talks about a sense of meaninglessness (before) and a sense of meaning (after).

In terms of form, the poem is six stanzas.  Stanzas 1 and 6 are the same.  Stanzas 2 and 3 follow a pattern.  In stanza 5, the first three lines start with “but” and the last three start with “all has”.

Happy Easter!