Bright Star: A Poem for Christmas Day

Although this poem isn't about Christmas, it's a love poem that depicts a fiery love in a wintry season of life. It has the paradox of Christmas in it -- the paradox being an event of fire (the fiery love of God breathed into human flesh through Jesus' birth) that strikes its light in the bleak dark of winter. Even though I believe that Jesus was born during one of the warmer seasons, not the winter (the shepherds would not have had their flocks in open pasture at night in the winter; shepherds in those days had little make-shift shelters for their flocks during cold weather), the imagery remains true: Jesus, the Light of the World, was born in a dark, wintry night of human history. He was a summer fire birthed into winter deadness.

The poem has this fire-in-winter quality to it -- the still fire of a star brooding, yearning over the frost of earth in its slumber -- in this case I'll pretend it's a Christmas Eve slumber.

And, on that note, a happy, merry Christmas to you -- I hope you enjoy the poem!

Bright Star by John Keats

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art--
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors--
No--yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever--or else swoon to death.