A short analysis of clement clarke moore’s ‘a visit from st. nicholas’ interesting literature power quiz questions


‘’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house / Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse’: as opening lines go, they must be up there in the top five most famous opening lines from an American poem ( something from Emily Dickinson would also have to be in there). ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’, to give the poem its proper title, is perhaps the most famous Christmas poem ever written, too, but the poem’s origins and attribution to a man named Clement Clarke Moore are not as straightforward as they may first appear…

One poem in particular would invent much of our modern idea of Santa Claus, and it is this poem: ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’, by Clement Clarke Moore (although on this last bit, read on: was the poem that begins ‘’Twas the night before Christmas’ actually by Clement Clarke Moore?). This is where we learn the names of Santa’s reindeer, but also where we get the idea of Santa riding a sleigh powered by flying reindeer – a conceit that was pretty much invented, and certainly popularised, in ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’.

More commonly known by its first line, ‘’Twas the night before Christmas’, this poem was published anonymously on 23 December 1823 in the New York newspaper, Sentinel. ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’ popularised the image of St Nick as a jolly fat man wearing fur-trimmed red robes (long before the Coca-Cola adverts popularised the red robes – something they didn’t actually do, and in fact they weren’t even the first drinks company to advertise their product using a red-robed Santa!).

The poem also introduced us to the names of all of Santa’s reindeer (with the exception of Rudolph, who would not come into being until the 1930s). ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’ was published anonymously, and its authorship remains a contentious issue. m gasbuddy Clement Clarke Moore, an American scholar of Hebrew, came forward as the author in 1837, and his claim has been largely accepted – although a rival group of scholars credit Henry Livingston Jr., another American poet (who also had about a hundred other jobs, during the course of his life), as the one we should thank for the poem. q card gas station A detailed account of the ‘St Nicholas Authorship Question’ (which finds in favour of Moore) can be found here.

It is interesting that the writer talks about St Nicholas being described as “a jolly fat man wearing fur-trimmed red robes” – but the poet says “He was dressed all in fur” – fur – not a red robe in sight. k gas oroville And – he isn’t a man. gas in texas He’s ‘a jolly old elf” – everything about him is “little” “little mouth” “little round belly” – that’s why he drives a miniature sleigh, with reindeer in proportion, how he manages to land on the roof of a normal sized house, and get down the chimney. 1 unit electricity cost in india The image of St Nicholas as an elf dressed in fur never took hold at all (and now there are rumblings about that fur – and the pipe – certainly neither are suitable for children – perhaps better omitted…). This, of course raises the question of where the robe came from? When St Nicholas visits children in Europe he wears his bishop’s vestments. electricity nightcore Could the robe be related to the coat worn by the Father Christmas character of the English mummers’ plays. Who carried a sack full of dolls, representing his large family (he went round with the collecting box at the end of the performance, explaining he needed the money for them).