Christmas Poetry at Hurtwood


As a final burst of Christmas cheer, a jolly crowd gathered in the Drawing Room for some seasonal wordsmithery.


See below for a selection of work read by Hurtwood students, including some original pieces.


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‘The Warmth of Nothing’ by Nat Jarrett


I wear nine layers.

Under the woollen hat and gloves,

Under the quilted coat,

Under my three pairs of socks,


Under the sweater perforated with holes

From my roommate’s universe of moths,

Under a barrage of t-shirts.

 The red boxers.


I thought I’d thrown them away,

Until today as I walk to your dorm,

Wearing the weight of six years,

Memories and the wet wool.


Strip away these layers like lives;

My bones are frost-bitten for lack of love

So defrost them with your tongue

And the warmth of nothing.


To the Oak Tree


作者:舒婷 By Shu Ting


Read by Alexia Zhang


我如果爱你—— If I love you --

绝不像攀援的凌霄花 I will never be a clinging trumpet creeper

借你的高枝炫耀自己 Using your high boughs to show off my height


我如果爱你—— If I love you --

绝不学痴情的鸟儿 I will never be a spoony bird

为绿荫重复单调的歌曲 Repeating a monotonous song for green shade


也不止像泉源 Or be a spring

常年送来清凉的慰藉 Bringing cool solace all year long

也不止像险峰 Or be a steep peak

增加你的高度,衬托你的威仪 Increasing your stature, reflecting your eminence

甚至日光 Even the sunlight

甚至春雨 Even the spring rain

不,这些都还不够 No, all these are not enough


我必须是你近旁的一株木棉 I must be a ceiba tree beside you

作为树的形象和你站在一起 Be the image of a tree standing together with you

根,紧握在地下 Our roots, entwined underground

叶,相触在云里 Our leaves, touching in the clouds

每一阵风过 With each gust of wind

我们都互相致意 We greet each other

但没有人 But nobody

听懂我们的言语 Can understand our words


你有你的铜枝铁干 You'll have your copper branches and iron trunk

像刀、像剑,也像戟 Like knives, like swords, like halberds, too

我有我的红硕花朵 I'll have my crimson flowers

像沉重的叹息 Like heavy sighs

又像英勇的火炬 And valiant torches

我们分担寒潮、风雷、霹雳 We'll share cold spells, storms and thunder

我们共享雾霭、流岚、虹霓 We'll share mists, hazes and rainbows

仿佛永远分离 Seemingly always apart

却又终身相依 But also forever interdependent


这才是伟大的爱情 Only this can be great love

坚贞就在这里 The loyalty is here

爱—— Love --

不仅爱你伟岸的身躯 I love not only your strapping stature

也爱你坚持的位置,足下的土地 But also your firm stand, the earth beneath you

‘Jazz’ by Jojo Guo


Jazz on wet pavements and under damp footprints,

Jazz in the half-seen-half-heard morning rhythm,

Jazz in the turn-of-a-corner smell of Marijuana and the nap of the nightsky from previous sleepless songs & dances,

Jazz in the dense dark blanket at six o’ clock & a bit more,

Me mapped, on a score with horning cars and snaring umbrellas skipping and stamping all the way to the Jazz of the train track.


Morning light is a grey arched brow

Curving downwards to touch its carousel light-like smile,

Still murmuring, tracing the drunken words jammed away of yesterday

Jazz in the razzmatazz of the orange blinks at windows & roofs

About to dye this morning of grey clouds with the colour of my Jazz music.


Jazz in the voice of this city

Jazz in my heart ahead

This heart that runs like silver liquid

This heart that runs

‘The Queen of Ice’ by Jojo Guo


the Queen of Ice

sits tall on her glacier top and

I am her friend.


Her gown of cliff and

Her hailstone crown

which only I undress.


She cries of boiling tears

under her

Ice sculptured mask


A Chill a Charm

A Chill a Charm

I held her in my palm.


the Queen of Ice

sits tall on her glacier top

Am I her servant?


warriors, poets, players

hang tight on her blink of

an eye, and I


Stood behind and

recited her

Winterland stories


to all men of

all seasons,

My tongue would run and freeze.


One day the Queen of Ice

has grown too cold and

ceased to sing


She replaced her marble

frosted hair with

everyone else’s goblin green.


Forgotten I was there

in her own puddle

She swims


Far enough so I can

not reach her

Near enough so I see her sink.

‘Christmas Poem’ by Jade Mkparu


In December they come in droves Answering the sirens’ song: Atlantic greetings, ocean spray,

Sand. Warm, Golden Like the halo on His head Or the straw that lines His bed. Sun in their eyes The colour of Christmas.

That's all from Muse for now, folks.


Have an excellent break, a fabulous Christmas, and a great New Year - and look out for the Muse Podcast in January.