Ms Kelly (English Dept) suggests a poem for this season, and student editor Megan Brady matches it with a photograph.

I do hope you all enjoy this poem. When I was living in London I used to always read it at this time of the year as I would be getting very excited about going home for Christmas. I believe it evokes all that is glorious about Christmas time in Cavan: the twinkling skies, the crackle and crunch of the frost and the joy of being with friends and family.

A Christmas Childhood by Patrick Kavanagh

My father played the melodion
Outside at our gate;
There were stars in the morning east;
And they danced to his music.
Across the wild bogs his melodion called
To Lennons and Callans.
As I pulled on my trousers in a hurry
I knew some strange thing had happened.
Outside in the cow-house my mother
Made the music of milking;
The light of her stable-lamp was a star
And the frost of Bethlehem made it twinkle.
A water-hen screeched in the bog,
Mass-going feet
Crunched the wafer-ice on the pot-holes,
Somebody wistfully twisted the bellows wheel.
My child poet picked out the letters
On the grey stone,
In silver the wonder of a Christmas townland,
The winking glitter of a frosty dawn.
Cassiopeia was over
Cassidy’s hanging hill,
I looked and three whin bushes rode across
The horizon – the Three Wise Kings.
An old man passing said:
“Can’t he make it talk” –
The melodion, I hid in the doorway
And tightened the belt of my box-pleated coat.
I nicked six nicks on the door-post
With my penknife’s big blade –
There was a little one for cutting tobacco.
And I was six Christmases of age.
My father played the melodion,
My mother milked the cows,
And I had a prayer like a white rose pinned
On the Virgin Mary’s blouse.


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