Monday, November 24, 2014

IMAGES OF CHRISTMAS (1993 US Edition) (1984 UK Edition)

(from a letter written to me by my father dated April 30, 1994)
Editor: Elaine Wilson/Calligraphy and Artwork Dorothy Boux

I am writing you at this time because there was a short article in the morning newspaper. It was about a train station in England that was scheduled to be done away with because it would cost too much to repair it. I am enclosing the article. (Ed. Note: There'll always be a Halt)

Why did this catch my attention? Because I love poetry and Sir John Betjeman, who was the Poet Laureate and died in 1984, had written [a poem] "Dilton Marsh Halt" about the village.

Well, this doesn't make much sense and perhaps never will. However, in 1984 you sent me a Christmas present; a book called “Images of Christmas.” Dorothy and I fell in love with the book immediately. The calligraphy and illustrations in the book were beautiful, spiritual and reverent. The contents were carefully selected from works of the best writers and poets. The selections were of the highest order.

Shortly after receiving the book we were at a Christmas Eve service at the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia and heard Dr. Sommerville, a Scot with a burr. An excellent service with beautiful music, most stirring, and thrilling. And Dr. Sommerville gave a dramatic and sensitive sermon built around Betjeman's "Christmas" – sixth verse. When I hear this poem or read it, it affects me greatly. It is on page 82 of the book you sent me in 1984.

But the whole book contains wonderful stories, poems and sayings which are readable any day of the year. It has an English approach which is impossible to read without awe. I never saw a book to compare it with because it is incomparable.

I do not know if I ever thanked you for “Images of Christmas” so I am writing to do that. I will write again soon but I wanted to write this now.

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