Wither Thou Goest, Send In Your Poems

So now is come our joyful feast, /Let every man be jolly; / Each room with ivy leaves is dressed, /And every post with holly. So begins "A Christmas Carol," written in 1622 by George Wither. Not THE "Christmas Carol," of course, but the holiday spirit is present.

If the holiday spirit is present in you … AND you write poetry … now is the time to send me your best work. The deadline for our final Southwest Poetry Project of 2008 is Nov. 24. Send poems to wilhide@skypoint.com. We’ll run a selection in the mid-December issue.

Need more encouragement? Remember that we actually pay a few of the poets we publish each quarter. Not much, but it’s enough for a decent bottle of holiday spirits in case yours need refreshing.

George Wither has slipped from our general consciousness. Maybe it’s because he was on the wrong side of history (a staunch Puritan, soldier, satirist and writer of religious tracks against Lust, Ambition, etc.). Or maybe it was because he tended to go on. And on. His Christmas Carol extends to three pages.

Still, it ends well. And we can all join George in his final lines: Let all the streets with echoes ring; / Woods, and hills, and everything/ Bear witness we are merry.