Susan Cooper is a truly great children’s literature writer. She wrote many magical books, including the fantastic five book series, the Dark is Rising. She also has out a new book, Ghost Hawk, set in New England! Woo-hoo! We’ve bought a copy for one of my kids for Christmas (mum’s the word) and I can’t wait to read it myself!!
Here is an excerpt from her book: The Magic Maker, a Portrait of Jack Langstaff, Creator of the Revels, followed by a video of her reading the same poem:
The Shortest Day
by Susan Cooper
And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.