Advent Reading Challenge: Nativity Play

21st December

Read Me and Laugh

Funny poems galore

 

‘Just Doing my Job’ a poem by Clare Bevan (taken from Read me and Laugh, edited by Gaby Morgan, mentioned in a previous post). This poem was originally published in We Three Kings (ed. Brian Moses, Macmillan, 1998).

I love this poem, conjuring up as it does long forgotten memories of participating in the school Nativity Play. Not that I ever had a starring role, I hasten to add, my only ever role being as the inn keeper’s wife which only had one short line. Hardly a distinguished theatrical career.

The poem features several small boys in the role of ‘Herod’s Henchmen’, which no doubt required lots of parental assistance in the form of cardboard and tinfoil accessories. All of that charging around the school hall sounds great fun (not that fun was exactly the point of it all I suppose). But it probably burnt off excess end of term excitement in the process.

I have extracted three verses to give you a flavour of the activity:

King Herod

King Herod by James Tissot

 

1, I’m one of Herod’s Henchmen.
    We don’t have much to say,
   We charge through the audience
    In a Henchman sort of way.

3, Our swords are made of cardboard
    So blood will not be spilled
    If we trip and stab a parent
    When the hall’s completely filled.

6, Yet when the play is over
    And Miss is out of breath
    We’ll charge like Henchmen through the hall
    And scare our Mums to death.

Of course, the sting behind the title of the poem is that a whole multitude of sins may be glossed over by employing the excuse of ‘just doing my job’. A lesson for children to learn while they enjoy reading the poem.

The striking painting of Herod the Great dates from 1886-1894 and is in the Brooklyn Museum (image courtesy of Wikipedia).

Advertisements

3 comments on “Advent Reading Challenge: Nativity Play

  1. Claire Duffy says:

    Lovely! I’ve only just found your advent calendar, which is a delight. Thank you. You might enjoy this: http://wp.me/p2k3hy-KH, and as you like your Dickens, this:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/charles-dickens/9724579/Ten-things-you-never-knew-about-Charles-Dickenss-A-Christmas-Carol.html

    Like

    • Chris Mills says:

      Thanks for your comment and for the link to the Telegraph piece. I did go to see the Clive Francis production in Dublin recently and enjoyed it very much. Thanks also for the link to your blog – your Christmas piece reminded me of some more Christmas favourites. Seasons Greetings!

      Like

  2. […] to have a bit of extra Christmassy literary inspiration do look back over some of last year’s Advent Calendar posts. Here’s one of my favourite Advent blog posts to nudge you towards Christmas […]

    Like

Please comment...

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s