Thursday, January 15, 2015

H. P. Lovecraft's Gothic Christmas

I wish I had discovered this poem during the holidays! Lovecraft's "Yule Horror" might be the best Christmas poem ever. As I read the poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Clement Clarke Moore came to mind because "Yule Horror" is the extreme opposite in sentiment. It's almost funny to compare the two poems noting the stark differences.Where "Twas the Night Before Christmas" is all warm and cozy, "Yule Horror" is cold and dark.

There's a great article on Wikipedia that describes the word yule and its origin and the pagan holiday it it originated from and eventually evolved into Christmas, as well as some of the Christmas activities and symbols derived from the old yule days that are still celebrated and recognized today. One such rite is sacrificing the yule animals and smearing the blood on the pedestals of the idols, the temple walls and the people. Right! That's the ritual we have discontinued since the rise of Christianity; however, it does state that we do still enjoy eating the Christmas ham and washing it down with ale. Much better!

When I finished reading the poem, the song "This is Halloween" from The Nightmare Before Christmas popped into my head probably because both the movie and "Yule Horror" are excellent combinations of the darkness of Halloween combined with the Christmas holiday season although the poem contains none of the Christmas spirit of hope found in the movie. No glimmer of hope can be found in the poem, only fear and dread. I'd love to stitch it in needlepoint and hang it over the Christmas village this year.

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