Welcome to the final Poetic Beats of 2017 with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 18th of December 2017 on Red Kite Radio.
In this programme we look at the poem, A Carol From Flanders, by Frederick Niven, focusing on the Christmas truce which occurred along the Western Front in the First World War. The poem is a reminder that, whatever is happening in the world, there is still a window for joy and hope.
Poetic Beats will be taking a break for the holiday season and Poetic Beats posts will resume on Friday the 12th of January 2018. Thank you for all the time and support you have given to this project in 2017 and we look forward to sharing more poetry and inspiration with you in 2018.
If you have difficulty accessing the recording, a text version of the poem is provided after the sound bar.
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A Carol From Flanders
In Flanders on the Christmas morn
The trenched foemen lay,
the German and the Briton born,
And it was Christmas Day.
The red sun rose on fields accurst,
The gray fog fled away;
But neither cared to fire the first,
For it was Christmas Day!
They called from each to each across
The hideous disarray,
For terrible has been their loss:
“Oh, this is Christmas Day!”
Their rifles all they set aside,
One impulse to obey;
‘Twas just the men on either side,
Just men and Christmas Day.
They dug the graves for all their dead
And over them did pray:
And Englishmen and Germans said:
“How strange a Christmas Day!”
Between the trenches then they met,
Shook hands, and e’en did play
At games on which their hearts were set
On happy Christmas Day.
Not all the emperors and kings,
Financiers and they
Who rule us could prevent these things
For it was Christmas Day.
Oh ye who read this truthful rime
From Flanders, kneel and say:
God speed the time when every day
Shall be as Christmas Day.