21 December 2009

The Shortest Day

Susan Cooper's classic winter solstice poem:

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.

And more about this afternoon's solstice:

Winter solstice 2009: What It's All About

Winter Solstice Rituals

Winter Solstice Facts

The Solstice and Yule

Meteorological winter actually began December 1.

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