‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ and Other Poetry by Janice Canerdy The Society December 6, 2019 Beauty, Culture, Holidays, Humor, Poetry 9 Comments ’Twas the Night Before Christmas ’Twas the night before Christmas and all through the malls there was widespread confusion and hot, frenzied brawls. Many shoppers were wanting the same bloomin’ gifts. Desperation resulted in feud-level rifts. There were four grandmas fighting for one preschool game. Their ferocity made angry pit bulls look tame. Jostling shoppers collided and bags hit the floor. Their attempts to retrieve them caused head butts and more. Loud confusion—“That’s mine!” “No, it’s mine!!”—could be heard. The mortified shoppers heard many a bad word. Two old geezers that should have been home fast asleep bumped into a Santa; all three muttered “BLEEP!” When announcements “Ten minutes till close” hit their ears, those who hadn’t found all they desired held back tears. The nightmare soon ended, tired shoppers went home, Aware that at last no more malls they would roam. Each vowed, “NO MORE last-minute shopping for me!” Christmas morning—well-rested—all smiles by the tree, they remembered the monsters they’d been just last night and rejoiced that those creatures were nowhere in sight! The Christmas Mindset I love the sights and sounds of Christmastime. The gifts, bright decorations, scrumptious meals, cantatas, carolers—all are sublime, all integral to how this season feels. To nurture Christmas thoughts throughout the year, I play my jolly carols in July. In March I may pen lines on Christmas cheer, a wondrous season’s gift we cannot buy. The Christmas spirit is remarkable, too sweet and wonderful to be confined to late December, far too magical to relish briefly—then just leave behind. The Christmas mindset thrives in many hearts long after that grand holiday departs. Quoth My Daddy “Nevermore”! Once upon a midnight chilly, on a ladder feeling silly, to my bedroom up I climbed and through my window slid. Moonlight through my bedroom flickered. To myself I softly snickered, realizing once again my parents—oh, so clueless—did not know my deeds. I heard a knock and under covers hid fearing Dad would blow his lid. In he stormed with nails and hammer; then ensued a fearsome clamor as with seven nails he sealed my window and my fate. Then he wheeled around revealing ire that woke in me a feeling that my days of freely slipping out and sneaking in so late would continue nevermore. Now weekends at home, I hate. I bemoan my sorry state! Valentine’s Day, 2019 Six-thirty I got up. I sat and sipped strong coffee while I watched the local news. I then prepared for church. At nine I clipped my toenails. Last, I chose my purse and shoes. Church services were good. That afternoon I did some laundry, watched an episode of “Snapped,” ate lunch, and tried to write, but soon grew drowsy and fell into slumber-mode. I practiced with the choir at five. Then I attended preaching services. At eight while watching TV I dozed off on my couch. When I woke up, it was very late. I’m falling silent. I must not say more, for I am certain I just heard you snore. Janice Canerdy is a retired high-school English teacher from Potts Camp, Mississippi. Her poems and prose writings have appeared in several publications, including Society of Classical Poets Journal, Wild Violet, Light Quarterly, The Road Not Taken, Lyric, Parody, Bitterroot, Cyclamens and Swords, Westward Quarterly, Lighten Up Online, Better Than Starbucks, Indiana Voice Journal and Southern Tablet; and anthologies, including those published by the Mississippi Poetry Society, the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Whispering Angel Books, and Quill Books. Her first book, Expressions of Faith (Christian Faith Publishing), was published in December 2016. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) 9 Responses C.B. Anderson December 6, 2019 Janice, I liked how you kept up the anapestic meter in “The Night Before…” Just like the original. All of them were quirky and humorous. Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 6, 2019 I love parodies of “The Night Before Christmas,” which seems to attract endless troops of satiric poets. I’ll never forget the parody that was published in MAD magazine back in the 1950s, using the Greenwich Village argot of the “Beat Generation.” Here are the first four lines: ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the pad Not a hipster was swinging, not even old dad. The chimney was draped in that stocking routine In hopes that the Fat Man would soon make the scene. In Canerdy’s above-posted version, I’d suggest two minor fixes to make the meter totally smooth. Lines 10 and 14 are bumpy, but could easily be revised like this: Line 10: A frustrated shopper spat out a bad word. Line 14: Those who hadn’t found stuff tried to hold back their tears. Reply C.B. Anderson December 6, 2019 By God, Joseph, I can scarcely believe that you too, back then, were a reader of Mad Magazine. It was addicting. What, me worry? –Alfred E. Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 7, 2019 They did a full-length parody of Poe’s “The Raven,” which was hysterically funny. It was also in beatnik-speak. I only wish I still had a copy. The Society December 7, 2019 I think this may be what you are referring to: https://ipoecollection.tumblr.com/post/169924287725/the-hip-raven-by-mort-drucker-mad-magazine-55 Paul Oratofsky December 6, 2019 These are delightful. You’re a master of enjambment. Reply David Watt December 7, 2019 Janice, these poems all make for enjoyable reading. “The Night Before Christmas” is my favorite, both for its lively humor, and anapestic meter. Reply JULIAN D. WOODRUFF December 7, 2019 Janice, Sorry to be late to the draw–busy day yesterday. Your take on “The Raven” reminds me of Pauline Kael’s (or was it possibly Dorothy Parker?) assessment of A Night at the Opera: The Marx Brothers doing to Il Trovatore what ought to be done to it. Reply Linda Owen December 10, 2019 Janice’s poetry is such a delight! I’ve been a fan of hers ever since reading her work for the first time. 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