This was the moment when Before
Turned into After, and the future’s
Uninvented timekeepers presented arms.

This was the moment when nothing
Happened. Only dull peace
Sprawled boringly over the earth.

This was the moment when even energetic Romans
Could find nothing better to do
Than counting heads in remote provinces.

And this was the moment
When a few farm workers and three
Members of an obscure Persian sect

Walked haphazard by starlight straight
Into the kingdom of heaven.

by U.A. Fanthorpe

© U.A. Fanthorpe, 2002

Having been one of Britain’s most popular poets since publishing her first collection in 1978, U.A. Fanthorpe sadly passed away in April, 2009. Christmas Poems, first published in 2002, collects Christmas card messages sent by Fanthorpe to friends since 1974, and is a fitting tribute to her versatility and wit as a poet. ‘BC-AD’ offers an askance perspective on the Nativity story, striking with the quicksilver power of an epiphany. You can find out more about the collection here, and more about Fanthorpe here.

Enitharmon Press takes its name from a William Blake character who represents spiritual beauty and poetic inspiration. Founded in 1967 with an emphasis on independence and quality, Enitharmon has been associated with such figures as Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Kathleen Raine. Enitharmon also commissions internationally renowned collaborations between artists, including Gilbert & George, and poets, including Seamus Heaney, under the Enitharmon Editions imprint. Discover more about Enitharmon here.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.

The Weekly Poem service takes a Christmas break for the next two weeks, and returns on 11 January. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all readers, and thanks for your continued support of the Weekly Poem initiative.