After the Holiday

Pulitzer Prize–winning poet James Merrill’s “Christmas Tree” is a wonderful example of a concrete poem, in which graphic patterns of words, letters, and symbols create a visual impact. Written in the shape of a Christmas tree and from its point of view, the poem captures the brief life of an iconic holiday decoration. “To be / Brought down at last / From the cold sighing mountain / Where I and the others / Had been fed, looked after, kept still, / Meant, I knew—of course I knew— / That there was nothing more to do,” writes Merrill. Taking inspiration from Merrill, write a poem from the perspective of a short-lived and celebrated object. If ambitious, try to incorporate a graphic element for more impact.