Noel: A Christmas Poem

Stone, John

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Nixon, Lois LaCivita
  • Date of entry: Dec-19-1996


Stone presents a poem that celebrates love and life with poignancy and irreverence. At Christmas time, when it is cold and dark, a father peers past the "tops of pines" still trying to reach for stars and moves from the holiness of the moment to the sons asleep in the house, unaware in their dreams of boyhood things, "how fast we are all dying." Remembering another holy moment, when a child was born in a stable midst "cattle urine rising like steam," the father expresses his overwhelming feelings for life in a joyfully unexpected way: "I pee for joy."


The seriousness of the poem, the time of the year, the setting, the recollection of Bethlehem work to catch the reader off guard.

Primary Source

In All This Rain


Louisiana State Univ. Press

Place Published

Baton Rouge, La.