The Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree

It’s probably the most famous Christmas tree in the world, and its lighting-up ceremony has come to signify the beginning of the Christmas season in the British capital. Since 2009, The Poetry Society has worked with the Royal Norwegian Embassy in London to create a poetry project inspired by the tree, which is now established as a central part of the tradition.

Poetry from workshops in Westminster primary schools is presented each year to one of the UK’s best children’s poets. Their task is to produce a new poem celebrating the gift of the tree from the Mayor of Oslo. The poem is read out at the official lighting up ceremony and displayed around the base of the tree.

Each year, The Poetry Society commissions a new poet to create the poem that will decorate the base of the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree. Previous poets include A.F. Harrold, Julia CopusIan McMillan, Liz Lochhead and Kevin Crossley-Holland.  

2018

The Christmas Tree poem ‘Look into my Lights’ was written by poet Joseph Coelho and read by three children from St Clement Danes Primary School. 

2017

The Christmas Tree poem was written by A.F. Harrold.  You can download A.F. Harrold’s teaching resource, written to accompany the poem. A free poetry resource pack for teachers is available upon request from [email protected].

photo credit: Hayley Madden