‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ was first published anonymously in Sentinel in 1823 and then later claimed by author Clement Clarke Moore. What's your thoughts? Santa Claus is an idol not a person, not big or small man. Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest and greatest poetry updates. Please log in again. Last, there is the “beard on his chin.” It fits in perfectly as it appears to be the same color “as the snow.” These few parts of the man’s image are enough to prove that he is exactly as one would expect. In this section the speaker begins to use the first person, referring to himself as “I” and describing how he is wearing his “cap.” The speaker also addresses the fact that he is with his wife, settling in for “a long winter’s nap.” This is just a metaphor used to describe the length of unbroken darkness during the nights of winter. Please continue to help us support the fight against dementia. His inspiration may or may not have come from a local man as well as from the traditional story of Saint Nicholas. Before everyone retired to bed, the scene was set. Clement Clarke Moore, (born July 15, 1779, New York, New York, U.S.—died July 10, 1863, Newport, Rhode Island), American scholar of Hebrew and teacher, best known for having been credited with writing the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (also known as “ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas”).. The poem was published anonymously in 1823. Nicolas” would soon arrive at the house. And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The login page will open in a new tab. This is very much not what he is doing though, presenting an interesting contrast to his true purpose of giving toys. ): His eyes—how they twinkled! And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. Santa climbs into the chimney and down into the house where he sets out the presents. The movement of the reindeer from the ground and up onto the roof is quick. Today is St Nicholas Day. The poem came to the Troy Sentinel out of the Moore household. Nick.”. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, Who carried a sack full of dolls, representing his large family (he went round with the collecting box at the end of the performance, explaining he needed the money for them). He’s ‘a jolly old elf” – everything about him is “little” “little mouth” “little round belly” – that’s why he drives a miniature sleigh, with reindeer in proportion, how he manages to land on the roof of a normal sized house, and get down the chimney. And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, The word “twinkling” will be used again later on in the text to refer to the St. Nick’s eyes. dimples, how merry! Join the conversation by. They are aware that the next day will bring something amazing. Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread; He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work. The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. It also makes one think of the stars which are likely shinning above the scene. Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk. Today is St Nicholas Day. It all happens so quickly and the speaker is left to hear the man’s last words to the night. A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore. Buy A Visit from St. Nicholas by (ISBN: ) from Amazon's Book Store. This is an analysis of the poem Account Of A Visit From St. Nicholas that begins with: 'Twas the night before Christmas,when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;... full text St. Nick gives the speaker a couple of different conspiratorial glances. Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email. The broad appeal of “A Visit from St. Nicholas” has ensured its position as a quintessential holiday poem for almost two centuries. Get more Poetry Analysis like this in your inbox. I find Father Christmas/Santa Claus a rather ambiguous figure. By: Victoria Hershman Edited by: Megan Jenkins "'Twas the night before Christmas," "A Visit from St. Nicholas", one of the most recognized holiday poems in America, has quite a mysterious and complicated history. ... and he turned to Moore’s poem ‘A Visit From St Nicholas’ for inspiration. 5 out of 5 stars After logging in you can close it and return to this page. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf. Annotation prompts for Clement Clarke Moore’s ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’. Subscribe to our mailing list and get new poetry analysis updates straight to … The majority of the text is structured in anapaestic tetrameter. The man rushes to the window and sees Santa and his sleigh. to the top of the wall! The original and immortal poem also known as "A Visit from St. Nicholas". He is carrying a “bundle” just like a “pedler” or someone who travels selling small items. Foster believes that Major Henry Livingston Jr., a New Yorker with Dutch and Scottishroots, should be considered the chief candidate for authorship, a view long espoused by the Livingston family. He expects there to be ”something the matter.” The rhyme scheme of ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ , and the meter, do a lot to keep these lines from sounding at all scary or intimidating. And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly. Away to the window I flew like a flash, As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name; Its page history did not survive the move. Every single person that visits PoemAnalysis.com has helped contribute, so thank you for your support. And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow; It is just one house on his list of many and he is confident in his work. One poem in particular would invent much of our modern idea of Santa Claus, and it is this poem: ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’, by Clement Clarke Moore (although on this last bit, read on: was the poem that begins ‘’Twas the night before Christmas’ actually by Clement Clarke Moore?). It is from the first line, ‘’Twas the night before Christmas’” or “The Night Before Christmas” that the poem is better known. Readers will certainly recognize the first stanza, as its words have become synonymous with the Christmas tradition. In "A Visit from St. Nicholas," what does "Thistle" mean? This means that the lines are divided into four feet and follow a pattern of unstressed-unstressed-stressed. ‘’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house / Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse’: as opening lines go, they must be up there in the top five most famous opening lines from an American poem (something from Emily Dickinson would also have to be in there). ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house. A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back, Line forty speaks, again, to the man’s stomach. In the next line of ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’, the speaker brings the narrative back to the magical qualities that St. Nick possesses. With a little old driver, so lively and quick, That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. Contemporary. The image of St Nicholas as an elf dressed in fur never took hold at all (and now there are rumblings about that fur – and the pipe – certainly neither are suitable for children – perhaps better omitted…). "A Visit from St. Nicholas", more commonly known as "The Night Before Christmas" and "' Twas the Night Before Christmas" from its first line, is a poem first published anonymously in 1823 and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who claimed authorship in 1837. And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ by Clement Clarke Moore is a fifty-one line poem that is contained within one block of text. Clement Clarke Moore (July 15, 1779 – July 10, 1863) was a writer and American Professor of Oriental and Greek Literature, as well as Divinity and Biblical Learning, at the General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in New York City.The seminary was developed on land donated by Moore and it continues on this site at Ninth Avenue between 20th and 21st streets, in an … Now dash away! It is as if he is saying, “I know you saw me, but don’t tell.”. The scene is progressing quickly, and necessarily so, as this is not the only house Santa Claus has to visit tonight. A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore. now, Dancer! Also that while the sleigh and the reindeer, now normal size were instantly taken up as an attribute of the Father Christmas figure, the furs – and the size and indeed the pipe -were not. Gave a lustre of midday to objects below. His eyes—how they twinkled! Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap. There are stockings hanging by the chimney and all the children are in bed. To the top of the porch! But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”, In the last lines of ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ , the old man touches the side of his noes and flies up the chimney and back onto the roof. Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow; The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth. St Nicholas’ charity and generosity was a … The speaker is unsure of what he is heard and flies “like a flash” to the window. Emma graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in English, minor in Creative Writing, BFA in Fine Art, and BA in Art Histories. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, Irving says that St. Nicholas used to frequently give presents to young and old alike throughout the year but now only brings gifts to children on St. Nicholas Day (December 6). And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack. they weren’t even the first drinks company, delving into the histories of ten famous Christmas carols, The Advent Calendar of Literature: Day 8 | Interesting Literature, 24 Amazing Literature Facts for Christmas | Interesting Literature, 10 Great Christmas Poems | Interesting Literature. ... feel-good stories, analysis and more. And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap. He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly. And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap, Foster's claim, however, has been countered by document dealer and h… His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! Prancer and Vixen! And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head. Pingback: The Advent Calendar of Literature: Day 8 | Interesting Literature, Pingback: 24 Amazing Literature Facts for Christmas | Interesting Literature, Pingback: 10 Great Christmas Poems | Interesting Literature. And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: “Now, Dasher! The poem should be enjoyed for content and for the way the words sound together. Click on Painting to Enlarge: According to legend, Clement Clarke Moore wrote his immortal poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas, also known as The Night Before Christmas, for his family on Christmas Eve 1822.He never intended that it be published, but a family friend, Miss Harriet Butler, learned of the poem sometime later from Moore's children. A Visit from St. Nicholas: Twas the Night Before Christmas (Audio Download): Amazon.co.uk: Clement Clarke Moore, Christian Andrade, Brook Forest Voices: Books So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, When what to my wondering eyes did appear. Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below, More commonly known by its first line, ‘’Twas the night before Christmas’, this poem was published anonymously on 23 December 1823 in the New York newspaper, Sentinel. No one knows who originally penned the classic Christmas tale back in the early 1800’s. ‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.’. On, Comet! Livingston was distantly related to Moore's wife. He is covered in clothing made of fur as well as a solid layer “from his head to his foot” of ash. Nicholas." Finally, his eyes roam over to a small “sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer.” The driver of this sleigh, who the speaker is just discovering, is “old” and “lively and quick.” Without further information, he knows there is only one person this could be, “St. Note: The letter from C.C. Title Confusion: The poem was originally called A Visit from St. Nicholas, but its opening line is what everyone knows it by. A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Due to the fact that the narrative was directed at a young audience, the sing-song-like pattern of rhyme makes sense. This image is meant to be comical and humanize this character who is already clearly in possession of magic beyond that of the speaker. A Visit from St. Nicholas. Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread; The stockings were hung with great reverence by the chimney and all sent out their wishes that “St. Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line such as the sound of … The poem also introduced us to the names of all of Santa’s reindeer (with the exception of Rudolph, who would not come into being until the 1930s). From where he is in the house all he can make sense of are the sounds. now, Prancer and Vixen! Moore's connection with the poem has been questioned by Professor Donald Foster, who used textual content analysis and external evidence to argue that Moore could not have been the author. Now dash away! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow The elf-like man moves with a lighthearted determination. Nicholas” coming down the “chimney.” The speaker does not express any significant surprise about this fact, it fits in well with the other magical images he has already seen. Happy, good-natured, and fitting perfectly into this magical scene Moore has set out so far. The poem begins with the speaker describing how his house has been readied for the arrival of St. Nick. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, While the majority of the poem follows this pattern, there are moments, such as in lines three and four in which it diverges. dash away all!’ Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care. With a little old driver so lively and quick, After pulling the blinds open quickly, the man is immediately struck by the light of the moon which has fallen on the new piles of snow. ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’ was published anonymously, and its authorship remains a contentious issue. Could the robe be related to the coat worn by the Father Christmas character of the English mummers’ plays. No, I am aware that the poet is not talking about a real person (although St Nicholas, who is one of the figures who gave rise to the Santa Claus/Father Christmas figure, was) but, from a folk-lore point of view I am interested in how the image developed. I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; The concluding sections of ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ are devoted to further description of the man and an elucidation of his task in the house. A reader understands from the context that whatever is happening, it is not a disaster. It was published in a New York… It is through advertising that we are able to contribute to charity. now, Dancer! This is where we learn the names of Santa’s reindeer, but also where we get the idea of Santa riding a sleigh powered by flying reindeer – a conceit that was pretty much invented, and certainly popularised, in ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’. The reindeer surge over any obstacle in their path and land on the roof. I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. The repetition of the meter, in combination with the regular pattern of rhyme, adds to the poem’s already upbeat and clear syntax. The man’s “eyes…twinkled” just like the stars, and like the sounds of the reindeer hooves. eNotes.com will help you with any book or any question. And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath; The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. The next six lines of ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ are also quite familiar. The speaker relishes the sights he saw and takes great joy from his knowledge of St. Nicholas. If you like ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’ – regardless of whether Clement Clarke Moore was the one who wrote it – you might also enjoy our post delving into the histories of ten famous Christmas carols. 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