In December | Poetry Breakdown

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re having a warm day!

In December

In the Christmas cheer,
I find warm houses and
mittened hands holding tea
quite endearing.
Where the blizzard rages outside
my soul still remains toasty.

In the midst of the Christmas cheer,
I find myself staring behind the snow covered rooftops
and up into the heavy, grey clouds
trying to remember and distinguish
between the good and bad.

Waist deep in snow,
my family and I wrestle with the snow storm.
Our jackets bundled up to our necks,
Our scarves up to our eyes and
Our gloved hands tightly grip the snow shovel,
brandishing them like swords
prepared and ready to fight a good fight.

Waist deep in final exams and papers,
students slip on their ugly sweaters
and drink their fourth red bull in order to
finish and wrap up the semester.
We brandish our notes like swords,
prepared and ready to fight a good fight.

Seated at a table with loved ones,
I look to my right and left
and erupt in joy.
Nothing will ever replace this moment
for now or ever more.

Seated at my desk with shouting in the background
and an empty wine glass,
I stare at the falling snow
mirroring my falling tears
reflecting my emptiness.

In December, the year wraps up not always under a tree or with a bow
without a big paycheck or a kiss to celebrate with.
In December, different kinds of cheer will be celebrated
in the snow or sun, under a house or uncertainty.
In December, the words of giving is more precious than receiving
even if you’re not aware of it.

I wrote this piece to capture the idealistic side of the holidays as well as the side that no one really talks about. Winter can be a really bleak time of the year for some people and I can understand that it would get really aggravating to constantly hear songs about things they may not necessarily have. Just like my previous piece called “Christmas Lights“, I wanted this piece to give a sense of realism and empowerment.

The first stanza is the idealized vision of Christmas with the warmth on the inside and the coldness on the outside. I chose to set up the poem with this stanza because it is definitely a vision that everyone has pictured in their head before. Some may have moments like this and I can attest that I have as well, but it is never permanent. The main “goal”, I guess you would say of Christmas is the last line, “Where the blizzard rages outside/ my soul still remains toasty” and that could be related with physically, mentally and spiritually.

The second stanza is less idealized and it talks about a bunch of emotions, but they’re not joy or happiness. It could mean depression, paranoia or loneliness. By writing this stanza, I wanted to contrast the first stanza and make it aware.

In the third stanza, it’s about a blizzard and bonding with your family. This stanza is something that occurred a lot for me because where I’m from, it snows quite a lot and we have a large driveway. The storm would force the entire family to shovel the snow. When I was little, it would be miserable because the snow would be so heavy and it would be very tiring, but as I got older, I had more strength to battle the snow per say. Perhaps not everyone experiences snow during the winter and I wanted to give people a glimpse of how crazy snow can be.

In the fourth stanza, it’s an ode to students because during December, students are studying and taking final exams as well as writing massive papers. We’re sacrificing our sleep and diets for the sake of our grades and it gets very tough especially when it piles up on you. During this time for students, it gets very hard to have a Christmas cheer. I decided to pair it up with the third stanza because believe it or not, it is like a battle to us. As much as we want to be done and as much as the professors want to be done, it is something that must be done.

In the next stanza, it talks about having dinner with your family and feeling a sense of belonging while the sixth stanza is about loneliness and feeling like you don’t belong anywhere – both feelings very prominent in our lives and able to make a significant impact on ourselves.

Now, the wrap-up stanza. In my opinion, that stanza is the hardest to write because after a poem like this filled with parallel images, you kind of need a stanza like this to get your point (or maybe because I worry that my readers aren’t going to get it – please let me know!). Basically, I wrote that that there are people in situations that you aren’t aware of, so sometimes it’s best to be a little sensitive and understanding because while these seasons are very picturesque, it is also full of pain for people. I encouraged the readers to give rather than focus on receiving, a phrase that has been embedded in us for a long time, but it is very true. From an extended hand of understanding and care to donations to a charity or even bringing light to issues that no one talks about. It is the season of love and joy after all, so why not live a life that reflects it so everyone can experience it.

I hope you enjoyed and thanks for reading!

Stay warm,

Alice

PS. Quick Piece will be rescheduled for Monday, the 26th. Merry Christmas!

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