Christmas

More than anything in the world
I say, let there be more Christmases!
I have this terrible hunger for festivals!
Let there be one each month,
even a little one,
with perhaps garlands
and fruitful craziness.

We have let something away from the world.
How did that happen?
Now we have got to make it all up again
out of rocks and paper with tasting and smelling.

Our very first illusion of meaning
came from a holy burning
passed to our hand
by a hand hot from the fire.
Now we miss that forge-dream of prophecy.

New joys have only to be invented.
They’ll be believed Hi!
The Christ Child,
is he, or is he not?
It’s of no importance.
Something is born,
when two or three come together
in his name or any other name.

© Andrew Glaze 1970
Tribune Magazine, UK, December 25th, page 9, 1970.

My father always enjoyed Christmas, although church was never a part of our family routine and he was a born skeptic his whole life.  We described ourselves as “agnostic”, and our outgoing Christmas cards were never religious in theme.  This is because he was born into a family of skeptical modern thinkers who were way ahead of their time and century, despite the fact that they lived in Tennessee and the Deep South.  He was spiritual, deeply moral, and highly ethical, without being religious.  Which is why, as I’ve gone through a large number of his poems over the past two years, I’ve been surprised to realize how many of his poems mention God, or Him. Clearly there was a part of his mentality that was curious and intrigued, and wondered about it all, despite his professed skepticism and rising disbelief.  There is a book “Earth That Sings” that is a compliation of my father’s poems, interviews, and essays up to 1985.  It is edited by William Doreski, a poet and writer who enjoyed my father’s lectures on poetry at Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and later became a friend.  The second chapter, written by my father, is an entertaining tale of his childhood and youth titled, “Pagan-Protestant:  Notes on growing up in Alabama.”

The fact that the poem was published in a British magazine is not surprising as he worked for the British Tourism Authority and had poetry friends and fans in the UK.

As for the poem, I came across it on the internet in 2011. I’d never seen it before, and I’ve never seen copies of it elsewhere.  This is not surprising, because it was written in 1970 while I was living abroad, and over the years my father downsized his paperwork by archiving his past work at the libraries of Harvard and the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

When I found the poem online, it was part of an archived magazine and the entire page, including the poem, was miniscule.   Fortunately, the text of the poem was printed beside it, and punctuated, but the sentences were broken up into odd segments and parts. 

It took me awhile, but with the help of a magnifying glass, and the knowledge that my father would have found my situation extremely funny, I finally managed to piece the poem back together.  This is it in its original state.  Had he been around to comment, self-depreciating as ever, he’d have chuckled and said, “Thanks Sweetie, I’m highly flattered that you think it was worth the effort”.

—E. Glaze

IMG_20181210_0001
Photo from December of 1959, Property of the Andrew Glaze Estate.
L to R: Dorothy Elliott (Glaze) Shari, Peter Glaze, Elizabeth Glaze, Andrew Glaze, in our Greenwich Village apartment on Bleecker Street.
The photo was taken by a friend or family member, but I have no memory of who. My artistic work using spray snow is visible on the window. We look pensive, because we were listening to Peter trying to talk to us at that moment.

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