Lines for a hard journey

Writing a column on the celebration of Christmas is a little like trying to illustrate the scope and scale of Shakespeare with one or two quotations; you can succeed about as well as the man who tried describing the marvellous cathedral at Chartres by showing a carved stone and single piece of stained glass as specimens of the building’s majesty.

The words that rise in my memory at Christmas are not from the commercial jingles that contaminate the airwaves too often at this season, nor are they from the nostalgic lullabies of yesteryear, nor from the more robust Christmas calypsos trying to cash in on Christ as well as Carnival, nor even from the beautiful but hackneyed carols like ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Adeste Fideles.’

The words that stand out are from T S Eliot’s astringently beautiful poem, ‘The Journey of the Magi,’ and they are not words particularly full of  …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.

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