some find Christmas mind in "It's a Wonderful Life" i, through holly berries
and spiky green leaves
trigger Christmas mind
There was an angry, old man from Atlanta who each winter was tapped to play Santa. In the suit he would bake, scratching a beard that was fake, as he fought Varsity dogs with piles of Mylanta.
Christmas trees stand beside
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Out: September 14, 2021
This anthology contains fourteen previously published pieces by prominent Irish authors, including: Joyce, Yeats, and Colm Tóibín. It’s mostly short fiction, but there are a few poems as well as a couple of excerpts from longer works. All the pieces are set around (or reference) Christmas, but the degree to which that plays into the story varies a great deal. The anthology is very Irish, but not always very Christmassy. Meaning, if you’re expecting a collection of pieces like Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” where the joy or melancholy of the season is front-and-center throughout and the holiday, itself, is a pivotal story element, you won’t find that in a number of these selections. Often, the season is just an element of ambiance or of short-lived emotional resonance.
That said, the selections are all artfully written and each is intriguing in its own way. In the case of Joyce’s “The Dead” the appeal is the evocative language and creation of setting (though the piece does have more explicit story than, say, “Ulysses.”) Whereas, for pieces like Keegan’s “Men and Women” or Trevor’s “Christmas Eve” the point of interest might be the story, itself. Besides the Irish author / Christmas reference nexus, the included works cover a wide territory including contemporary works (keeping in mind the authors are mostly from the 20th century) and those that hearken back to days of yore. Some are secular; while others are explicitly Catholic.
I enjoyed this anthology, finding it to be a fine selection of masterfully composed writings.
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the clash of colors and thunderous noise the box, the paper, the Christmas day toys the scree of excitement lies, toppled down and all that's left is our cold, silent town
Taken in Obuda in December of 2019.
At the sight of I know not what,
something — or, maybe, someone —pointed out by his grinning granny,
I saw a boy run in place,
overcome by enthusiasm from the waist down —
like a cherubic Michael Flatley sans the coordination, but with exuberance to spare.
At the sight of the boy,
I couldn’t help but ask myself when my idle setting got turned down so low.
Surely, once upon a time, there was something that so excited me that my limbs bypassed central control and spastically did their own thing…
but I can’t remember when.