All Hail the Glorious Night (and other Christmas poems): The Complete Christmas Poetry of Kevin Carey

by and Kevin Sheehan (illustrator)

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Book Details

Format: Paperback (392 pages)

Publisher: Sacristy Press

Date of Publication:

ISBN: 978-1-78959-051-7

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Christmas has inspired the writers of poems, songs and carols for two millennia. While the words and tunes of familiar carols are an essential part of Christmas, there is also a need for new words and reflections on this most inspirational of seasons.

This book brings together Kevin Carey’s previous four volumes of illustrated Christmas poetry with a new collection of vibrant lyric poetry that will delight those eager to renew their Christmas spirit.

That wondrous night our Saviour came
All earthly rules were set at nought
A new made star and angel flame,
A stable for a royal court.

This book is a perfect Christmas gift, containing over 230 poems that guide us through from Advent to Christmas and Epiphany. Scattered throughout the text are illustrations by Kevin Sheehan.

Kevin Carey is a Reader in his parish church, and is also a chorister, theologian, novelist, and classical music critic. He was a Member of General Synod, Chairman of RNIB (the UK’s leading blindness charity) and, until retirement in 2018, an IT consultant specialising in assistive technology for disadvantaged people.

Carey’s best short poems find formal ways of unifying different aspects of the Christmas message while demonstrating mastery of the poetic forms typical of carols, metrical accomplishment and competent rhyming. Carey explores the incarnation from every conceivable perspective, repeatedly revisiting the perspectives of Mary, the shepherds and the wise men, yet, more originally, voicing entities such as the stars in the heavens and the manger. He reimagines Christmas with contemporary references to the Middle East conflict, the refugee crisis, urban poverty, global warming, journalism and technology.
John Moss, The Reader

Reading the poems, one can certainly detect among their inspiration themes and symbolism familiar from the repertoire of the Oxford Book of Carols and Carols for Choirs. Carey’s poems are drawn from the full breadth of the Christmas experience, from the manger to the shopping centre. … An eminently usable volume.
Gill Ambrose, Praxis News of Worship

Although Carey tends to use the traditional rhyme and meter, even a somewhat traditional vocabulary, on occasion he comes up with some delightfully fresh perspectives: the Infant Jesus adored not only by ox and ass in the stable, but by koalas, kangaroos and wombats in the Australian outback; by enslaved people in the sugar plantations of the colonial Caribbean, who recognize in the Incarnation a story of the downtrodden and abused with whom they can identify; Mary as envisioned in Indian and Japanese cultures. … [This book] might be a valuable resource for choirmasters and clergy since, even without fresh compositions, many of these poems could be set to tunes already available.
Phoebe Pettingell, The Living Church

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