My parents loved poetry. Better yet, they knew how to make that love contagious. My mother recited Keats and Browning (both Brownings) from memory, fitting them to our own lives, while my father… my father gave us Dylan Thomas and “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.” Prose to some, but poetry to me.
My father’s voice was wonderful to hear, not deep exactly but rich and expressive. Especially when he read to us. But my father did not read to us when it came to “Child’s Christmas in Wales.” Instead, perhaps a few days before Christmas and perhaps on Christmas Eve after the Methodist Service and as we drank hot apple cider spiced with cinnamon, he went to the block-shaped turntable with a vinyl LP in hand, worked the controls, and sat down. The heavy tone-arm groaned as it lowered the needle into contact with the record’s surface.
And this is what we listened to next: