Every year The Poetry Society commissions a poem, welcoming Norway’s gift of a Christmas tree to London’s Trafalgar Square as part of its Look North More Often project. This year’s poem, ‘The Christmas Pine’, is by Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo and a former children’s laureate.
The poem is always unveiled as part of the lighting-up ceremony of the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree and appears on a banner that encircles the base of the tree during the festive period. This year’s banner has been created by Marcus Walters, who, together with the animator Merik Pine, has created a short animation in celebration of Julia’s poem. The excerpt is read by three Year 6 pupils at St Mary of the Angels primary school in the London Borough of Westminster: Reinfrancis Bondoc, Fabio Cucinotta and Poppy-Beau Pawsey.
Note: The tree in Trafalgar Square is a magnificent Norwegian Spruce (Picea abies) so not botanically a pine tree (Pinaceae family). Julia Donaldson knows that the tree in Trafalgar Square is a Norwegian Spruce. When she was composing the poem, she chose to use a word that’s more generic and which she found more poetic.
3 December 2020