12 January 2012

'a lost child travelling in the snow'

All the way back in 2009 I posted one of my favourite Christmas poems, Chesterton's 'Child of the Snows' (here). Well, last year I bought a copy of Michael Patrick Hearn's Annotated Christmas Carol, and as I was reading it with my students around Christmas time, I noticed the following passage in the description of the Cratchits' Christmas celebration:

All this time the chesnuts and the jug went round and round; and bye and bye they had a song, about a lost child travelling in the snow, from Tiny Tim; who had a plaintive little voice, and sang it very well indeed. [1]

For the first time, while reading this passage I thought of GKC's poem, and then I noticed Hearn's annotation:

Apparently Dickens had no specific carol in mind; no such song has been found in any old collection of Christmas carols. G.K. Chesterton realized this omission, and included in his Poems (1926) 'A Child of the Snows', which might stand for Tiny Tim's carol until another might be found. [2]

I chose the image above as a good, classic, Logismoic piece, but the image here is more of a real illustration of the poem.

[1] Charles Dickens, The Annotated Christmas Carol: A Christmas Carol in Prose, ed. Michael Patrick Hearn, illust. John Leech (NY: Norton, 2004), p. 108.

[2] Dickens, p. 108, n. 63.

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