Christmas Poems

Classic and contemporary poems for the holiday season.
Photograph of a wreath and pinecones on wood

This collection of poems and site features presents many Christmases: spiritual and secular, bleak and hopeful, individual and communal. W. S. Di PieroAlice Fulton, and Conrad Hilberry capture the feelings evoked by city streets and natural landscapes around the holidays. E. E. Cummings’ child speaks adoringly to a Christmas tree, while Chris Green’s adult reexamines the tree-chopping tradition. Sandra CastilloToi Derricotte, and Mary Jo Salter paint vignettes of Christmastime rituals of parents and children. Ange Mlinko and Devin Johnston offer less traditional December 25th activities—bathtub lobster cooking and California boat rides, respectively. Mike Chasar’s speaker receives a surprise gift from nature, and Norman Williams’s poem is an homage to artists who work without hope for material gain. After a selection of articles, and Yuletide broadsides and audio clips, we land on Poetry founder Harriet Monroe’s 1926 vision of Christmas as “a symbol, a recognition, a flower on the altar, a bow in passing.”