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Favorite Poems

This is a poorly organized collection of some poems that I've found particularly beautiful and meaningful. There's nothing I like more than talking about this sort of thing, and I don't get to do it much, so if anything catches your eye don't hesitate to talk to me about it!

Poems about Christmas

In the Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti

A popular Christmas carol, which I love as a song but I like even better in the simplicity of its poem form. It captures the amazing, shocking, even scandalous nature of the Christmas miracle: how the majestic Creator humbled himself to enter his creation, and to become the lowliest of the low.

The House of Christmas by G.K. Chesterton

This poem beautifully captures another aspect of Christmas: what it tells us about where we really belong, where our home truly is.

A Christmas Carol by G.K. Chesterton

A final side of the Christmas story: how the coming of our Savior into this dark, broken world means that at long last, everything will be all right. The birth of Jesus is the birth of a hope that will never, ever die, or fade, or grow dim.

Poems about War and Sacrifice

The English Graves by G.K. Chesterton

Chesterton hated the jingoistic imperialism that leads nations to pointless war, but he always supported the heartfelt, healthy love of one's country. This poem is a reaction to the lifeless, impersonal bloodshed of World War I, where men died not for hearth and home, but for political ideologies.

Elegy in a Country Churchyard by G.K. Chesterton

An unforgettable contrast of the dedication and sacrifice of England's faithful laborers and soldiers with the calculating ways of her government.

The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna by Charles Wolfe

A dark, tragic, but ultimately hopeful ode to a fallen hero.

To Our Fallen by R.E. Vernède

A hopeful take on the tragedy of the war dead, arguing that maybe their sacrifice is worth it, if the good prevails in the end. Vernède himself enlisted — though he was 39, long past the typical fighting age — and died in action in France. As his friend Chesterton wrote, "his full promise as a poet he did not keep; because he kept a better one, and is dead on the field of honour."

The Last Hero by G.K. Chesterton

A favorite theme of Chesterton's was the heroic, carless joy of the Christian warrior, who laughs and loves life even in the face of his approaching death.

Three Hills by Everard Owen

A stark display of the horrific, meaningless injustice of war, and how the cross of Christ answers it. Owen's own son died in the war, and he must have wrestled long and hard before finding the comfort he writes in these short lines.

Poems about Life

A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Sands of Time by Anne Cousin

The Stolen Child / The Mortal Answers by W.B. Yeats & G.K. Chesterton

O Where Are You Going? by W.H. Auden

Poems about Death

The Old Sexton by Park Benjamin Sr.

Passing away, Saith the World by Christina Rossetti

As I Walked Out One Evening by W.H. Auden