- Happy Hanukkah!
- Outside, snow is slowly, softly
Falling through the wintry night.
In the house, the brass menorah
Sparkles with the candlelight.
Children in a circle listen
To the wondrous stories told,
Of the daring Maccabeans
And the miracles of old.
In the kitchen, pancakes sizzle,
Turning brown, they'll soon be done.
Gifts are waiting to be opened,
Happy Hanukkah's begun.
-- Eva Grant
Eva Grant has also written a lot of Hanukkah poems (do a Google search to find a thorough sampling), but they mostly fall into the extremely simple category I was complaining about yesterday. This one at least gives you a feeling of holiday domestic warmth, but it still feels like the scene and sentiment belong on a Hallmark card. The picture on the front would be pretty -- They could use cool toned colors to compare the cold snow with the sparkling menorah -- maybe they could even put some glitter on it. Inside, the colors would be warm -- there would be candle light on the awestruck faces of the children around the table listening to Grandpa while Grandma looks on fondly from her station at the stove frying latkes.
Why is there such a dearth of good holiday poems? There are certainly enough lousy ones, so it's not like poets ignore the holidays. It seems to me that holidays are when emotion runs highest, and what is poetry but a way of expressing emotion? When I really think about it, I suppose that most of the good Christmas poems have been set to music, and there are PLENTY of Christmas songs out there. There are also a lot of poems appropriate for Easter, though most of them were written about Christ and his resurrection than the holiday itself. There's no shortage of love poems for Valentines day, or Irish poems and folk songs that can be used at St. Patrick's, but again, those were written about the thing the holiday is celebrating rather than about the holiday itself. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic.