Hilda Conkling’s dreams of love

Jeremy Lipking - Adrift
Jeremy Lipking – Adrift (2013) – from Art Renewal Center

by Hilda Conkling

LOVELINESS that dies when I forget
Comes alive when I remember.

In previous posts, I have presented two themes from Poems by a Little Girl (1920), Hilda Conkling’s first volume: dreams, often involving fairies and nature, then rose petals, which she associates with her heart, or with a dove representing love. In her second volume Shoes of the Wind (1922), the topics of dreams, roses and love become united within two beautiful poems, but here love becomes more personal. Indeed, Hilda was no more a little girl, she entered into puberty, so her fantasies and desires took a more womanly form. Also the style of her poetry matured, with a quasi-adult sophistication. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Shoes of the Wind, Hilda Conkling’s second collection

Hilda Conkling (1922)
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 / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Rose-Moss, by Hilda Conkling

Hilda Conkling, Poems By A Little Girl
Cover by Charles Churchward, Illustration by Dorothy P. Lathrop – Hilda Conkling, Poems By A Little Girl, Vinyl LP Album, Caedmon Records, Inc., TC 1387 (1972)

The child poet composed this charming little poem at age five or six, and her mother wrote it down. It was published in 1920 in her first collection Poems by a Little Girl. Hilda shows her empathy for nature, wondering if an isolated flower feels lonely, but fortunatly it does not. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Dreaming in Hilda Conkling’s early poetry

Henry Ryland - Two classical figures reclining
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. Several of them deal with dreaming and dreams, and then she seizes this as an opportunity for speaking freely of anything in her mind. This theme of dreams sometimes mingles with that of fairies and the “little people” of forests. Indeed, Hilda often walked in her garden or on hills and in forests near her home, where her imagination could flow freely, so dreams and the marvellous will generally blend with nature. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…