Catherine Julie Smith reads “The Night Before Christmas”
“The Night Before Christmas” has been a constantly popular poem since it was written in the early 19th century. Uncertainty arises as to who the author is, but it is attributed to Clement Clarke Moore.
The reader is taken on a magical, spirited adventure, which is narrated by the family father who is disturbed during his slumber on Christmas Eve by the arrival of a bungling, but forgivable, St Nicholas as his reindeer-drawn sleigh, full of Christmas presents, makes a landing in the garden of this family.
Throughout the poem the reader enjoys an experience of a cosy, safe, homely family life; hope of pleasant expectations and the excitement felt at Christmas by children young and old; throughout we are reminded of the spirit and message of Christmas, namely that of hope and peace.
Without getting too technical, the poem’s metre is anapaestic tetrameter i.e. unstressed-unstressed-stressed, a limerick method, which makes reading relaxed, suggesting a cosy night in with a good book!
Read by Catherine Julie Smith, Foreign language assistant, Centre for British Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin