I will be making an appearance on Zaklog the Great’s Book Club, discussing the poem The House of Christmas by G.K. Chesterton. He has previous had such illustrious guests as John C. Wright and Tom Simon. I cannot hope to match the education and wit of such luminaries, but hopefully my contribution to the discussion will rise to the level of entertaining or even informative.
The discussion will be happening on Sunday at 2pm Central US time/3pm Eastern/8pm GMT on this coming Sunday, December 16th. Zaklog’s youtube channel can be found here:
The poem under discussion can be found below:
The House of Christmas
By: G. K. Chesterton
There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.
For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay on their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.
Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.
A Child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost – how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky’s dome.
This world is wild as an old wives’ tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.
To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.
That poem reminds me particularly of the work Chesterton put into “The Queen of the Seven Swords”. I believe that volume was created to celebrate his crossing the Tiber.
I have not gone through my copy completely (my Advent/Christmastide has been busy) but it would not surprise me to see it there.
Then again, Chesterton excels at that timeless quality that makes his poetry and writing maddening to date without extensive knowledge.