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William Sansom

“What is the colour of Christmas?
Red?
The red of the toyshops on a dark winter’s afternoon,
Of Father Christmas and the robin’s breast?
Or green?
Green of holly and spruce and mistletoe in the house,
dark shadow of summer in leafless winter?
One might plainly add a romance of white,
fields of frost and snow;
thus white, green, red- reducing the event to the level of a Chianti bottle.
But many will say that the significant colour is gold,
gold of fire and treasure, of light in the winter dark; and this gets closer,
For the true colour of Christmas is Black.
Black of winter, black of night, black of frost and of the east wind,
black of dangerous shadows beyond the firelight.

I am not sure who wrote this. I got it from page nine of “A Book of Christmas” by William Sansom. Google didn’t help. It is rather true I think, that the true color of Christmas is black. For like the author said in succeeding sentences “The table yellow with electric light, the fire by which stories are told, the bright spangle of the tree- they all blazé out of shadow and out of a darkness of winter”


William Sansom
tags: poetry
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