LOGOS: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture

Publication Date

Winter 2020

Document Type




First Page


Last Page



One of T.S. Eliot's most recognized poems is "Journey of the Magi."1 The poem first appeared inside a Christmas card. Richard de la Mare, who served with Eliot as director for the publishing house Faber & Faber, had the entrepreneurial idea of sending Christmas cards to those who had business with the press. In the spirit of Shakespeare, the series was called "Ariel Poems." The inside page of the card contained an unpublished Christmas-related poem from a contemporary poet, and the exterior was accompanied by an illustration from a noted contemporary artist. Between 1927 and 1931 the press released thirty-eight "Ariel Poems" by figures such as Thomas Hardy, G. K. Chesterton, Siegfried Sassoon, W. B. Yeats, and D. H. Lawrence. T. S. Eliot wrote five of the poems during these years, of which four were matched with illustrations by the avant-garde American poster artist, Edward McKnight Kauffer. A 1936 collection of Eliot's poetry for Faber & Faber included his contributions to the cards under the heading "Ariel Poems."


Full text is also available with a paid subscription at Project MUSE: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/743586