Welcome Yule with 'The Shortest Day' by Susan Cooper

Welcome Yule with 'The Shortest Day' by Susan Cooper

Saturday, 21 December, 2019

Around the world, the winter solstice is a significant date: the shortest day, the longest night, and a powerful transition between seasons. In Pagan times, the winter solstice was known as Yule, a celebration of Goddess (moon) energy, when the moon would give birth to the sun. In this celebratory poem, British author Susan Cooper captures the magic of this day and this season.


The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper

  • And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
  • And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
  • Came people singing, dancing,
  • To drive the dark away.
  • They lighted candles in the winter trees;
  • They hung their homes with evergreen;
  • They burned beseeching fires all night long
  • To keep the year alive.
  • And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
  • They shouted, reveling.
  • Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
  • Echoing behind us—listen!
  • All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
  • This Shortest Day,
  • As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
  • They carol, feast, give thanks,
  • And dearly love their friends,
  • And hope for peace.
  • And now so do we, here, now,
  • This year and every year.
  • Welcome, Yule!


This poem is available as a children’s hardcover with beautiful watercolor illustrations by Carson Ellis.

Top image courtesy of Ray Hennessy.

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