Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Jar of Jelly

Many years ago I found this poem in the Farm Journal Christmas Book from 1966. I have always loved this poem and hope that others will enjoy it, too. The accompanying photo is one that accompanied the poem in the book, along with, of course, a variety of recipe for gift jams and jellies. Enjoy...

The Jar of Jelly

To others' eyes, it may not look like much;
"it's just a jar of jelly." some would say,
"Wrapped up in festive ribbons and some seals
To make it look more Christmasy and gay."
But you for whom it's meant will find, I know,
All that is packed within the little jar,
You will translate the label properly
And see just what the contents really are.
"Wild grape -- " you'll say, and suddenly
You'll not be walking dusty city halls,,
But down an autumn-gilded little lane
Between the jewelled vines of old stone walls.
Instead of dingy bricks beyond a court
You'll see a spruce-green hillside, sharp and clear,
Sweet fern and bayberry will scent the breeze,
The whirr of partridge wings delight your ear.
It is not much to send, this one small jar,
But you will see that in it, pure and true,
Shimmers the essence of the place we love,
Preserved especially by me, for you.

-- Barbara Overton Christie

I have loved this poem for many years. My mother had several issues of Farm Journal's Christmas Book, and I loved to peruse them every year. This poem was included on a page with recipes for gift jams and jellies. I was fortunate enough to be given some old issues of the Farm Journal Christmas Book in later years, and the issue containing this poem happened to be one of them. I have enjoyed so much having these books for my very own. This poem in particular shows how even a very small gift can come straight from the heart.

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