It was just after Halloween when I first got the idea for this project. I'd been out "trick-or-eating" (i.e. collecting canned goods for the local Food Bank) and I started thinking about how much I missed being a kid. All the magic and spontaneity, and in some ways greater freedom, of childhood. Adults were allowed to do a lot of things, but we couldn't dress up and go door to door for candy on Halloween (as evidenced by the very odd looks we got before we explained, at each house, why we were there.)
So I began thinking about all the aspects of childhood that I missed. Dressing up for Halloween...acting out scenes from Lord of the Rings and the Narnia chronicles...making up stories with My Little Ponies and Lego sets...writing poetry...
Hey! I could still do that. Why didn't I write poetry any longer?
As a older child/teenager -- between the age of about 10 and 13 -- I wrote reams of poetry. Mostly it was Romantic-inspired stuff (I read a lot of Coleridge, and memorized the entire Rime of the Ancient Mariner; I had a good memory for the written word). A lot of it was about unicorns and dragons and such things. Most of it wasn't bad, even from my more critical vantage point now.
Then, around the time I began high school, I more or less stopped. I'm still not sure why -- maybe the higher workload, maybe the conviction that I had to finally leave behind all the fantasy and magic of childhood and buckle down to the very serious task of becoming a teenager. (I wrote a little, sporadically, in university...mainly sonnets. They were a very intellectual form and that was the way I tended to see the world at that point: through an analytical lens.)
But, that day after Halloween, I realized that I wanted to start writing poetry again. And why not?
My local church (a non-denominational group which stressed creativity and art) had just issued a call for Advent-related art and poetry. I've never been great with anything visual-arts-related, but poetry? That I could do.
So, without further ado, I began writing a series of 25 poems. One for each day between December 1 and Christmas (plus a Prelude for good measure.)
On December 1 I began posting them on my blog at http://adventcanticle.blogspot.ca/ , and intend to post one a day until Christmas. A sort of poetic Advent calendar. So far there are three poems up, with another to come at midnight tonight.
I've decided to cross-post them here. They're certainly not "conventional" Christmas/Advent poetry (with all the cute imagery of sheep and candles and deep fluffy snowdrifts). They're written from, mostly, a Christian perspective -- but they challenge and extend traditional theology more than they embrace it. In writing them, I've been very much influenced by recent events. The 2012 election, climate change, the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, the (so-called) "2012 apocalypse"...as well as the conflicts, fears and hopes of 4 BC (in many ways similar to ours). By looking at Christmas and the Advent through a new lens, I've tried to get a new perspective on what is (admittedly) a pretty worn-out theme at times, and to see -- perhaps -- what light the Christmas story can shed on our own time.
But I'd rather post poems than write about them...so on to the next post!
Comments, of course, are welcomed (either here or on the blog itself.) :)