This is my abolutely favorite poem for the Winter Solstice. I share it with you in hopes that the hope and joy of the Winter Solstice is yours this holiday season.
THE SHORTEST DAY
Written for the Revels by Susan Cooper in 1997
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 home with evergreens;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
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 do so we, here, now,
This year and every year.