154. “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” Redux

from Bob & Margery’s Poetry Blog

Thursday December 24, 2009

It’s Christmas Eve, and of course we in the Western world are hearing the lines of the classic poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” echoing in our minds. In the U.S., First Lady Bess Truman began a traditional annual reading of that poem that continues today—the White House blog has just posted a video of this year’s reading by Michelle Obama at the Children’s National Medical Center, “The First Lady Reads ‘The Night Before Christmas’.” And the poem has worked its way so deeply into the general consciousness of Christmas time that it serves as the most inviting of targets for parody—most recently by Illinois Senator Roland Burris, commenting on the health care reform debate in the U.S. Senate:

from The New York Times “Prescriptions” blog:
Acrimony, and Poetry, in the Senate,” by David M. Herszenhorn
“It was the night before Christmas and all through the Senate, the right held up our health care bill, no matter what was in it….”

More on “A Visit from St. Nicholas
Who really wrote the classic Christmas recital poem?
Parodies of “The Night Before Christmas” collected at About.com’s Urban Legends site

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