Hilda Conkling: Shoes of the Wind

Artist unknown – Hilda Conkling (1922) – from Shoes of the Wind

Artist unknown – Hilda Conkling (1922) – from Shoes of the Wind

Two years after Poems by a Little Girl in 1920, Hilda Conkling published her second book of verses: Shoes of the Wind, A Book of Poems. She was 12 years old when the book appeared, and the poems in it were probably written between the ages of 9 and 12. They show a great maturity, with a literary style generally close to that of adulthood. On the other hand, they seem more conventional than her early works in the first volume, where she could as a child let her imagination flow unfettered. CONTINUE READING…

Hilda Conkling: Rose-petals

Alfredo Rodriguez - At the rose garden - from alfredoartist.com

Alfredo Rodriguez – At the rose garden – from alfredoartist.com

The poem After Plotinus by Fabian Strachan Woodley tells of a “perfect, new blown rose” lost by a little flower-girl; four people, “souls blind and dull”, ignored it, but a fifth person “raised it, and bore it tenderly”; although “there was no beauty in the rose”, he “saw mirrored in the flower his own Mind Beautiful.” CONTINUE READING…

Dreaming in Hilda Conkling’s poetry

Henry Ryland - Two classical figures reclining (c.1890) - from All Paintings via Wikimedia Commons

Henry Ryland – Two classical figures reclining (c.1890) – from All Paintings via Wikimedia Commons

Poems by a Little Girl contains verses recited by Hilda Conkling to her mother when she was aged between four and nine. They remarkably combine the spontaneity and unfettered imagination of childhood with a mastery of poetic language rarely seen at that young age. A recurring theme in them is dreaming and dreams, and indeed she seizes this as an opportunity for speaking freely of anything in her mind. She often walked in her garden or on hills and in forests near her home, so dreams and the marvelous will generally blend with nature. CONTINUE READING…