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The Best Poems about Holidays

The greatest poems about vacations

Holidays can be a time for the family to spend time together, a time to get away from it all. Poets aren’t naturally drawn to happy times as a fit subject for poetry, but nevertheless they have occasionally treated the subject of holidays and vacations – whether the Christmas holidays, or summer holidays. Here are six of the very best holiday poems.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ‘Holidays’. This sonnet by the author of ‘The Song of Hiawatha’ reminds us of the etymology of the word ‘holiday’ as ‘holy day’. The ‘holiest’ of holidays are the ones we keep by ourselves, the ‘secret anniversaries of the heart’. Holidays, then, are less about going away somewhere different and having fun, and more a state of mind, a feeling, an act of remembrance and self-discovery. This holiday poem, then, is a world away from the image of the family by the seaside with a bucket and spade – it’s about an inner peace that holiday time can bring. ‘The holiest of all holidays are those / Kept by ourselves in silence and apart; / The secret anniversaries of the heart…’ Read the rest of this entry

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10 Great Christmas Poems

Stuck for a bit of festive-themed poetry this Christmas? Let us help. Here are our 10 quick holiday recommendations. These are, we reckon, 10 of the greatest poems for the Christmas holidays. They’re all quite short and make for ideal festive reading, so we’ve provided links to each of the poems, too. If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas gift for a book-lover and enjoy this post, we have lots more literary interestingness in our bargain book, The Secret Library: A Book-Lovers’ Journey Through Curiosities of History.

Thomas Hardy, ‘The Oxen‘. Written in 1915 during WWI, this poem shows a yearning for childhood beliefs which the adult speaker can no longer hold. In other words, it highlights the yearning to believe, even – or perhaps especially – when we know that we cannot bring ourselves to entertain such beliefs. (Hardy had lost his religious faith early in life.) Read the rest of this entry