Hilda Conkling’s formidable mother

When a child seems precocious and does things generally regarded as above the capacities of her age, one often wonders what role her parents did play in her achievements. Did she develop her gifts by herself, independently of any adult influence? Or did her parents encourage her talent? Or did they train her intensively like a circus animal in order to artificially create a genius? CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Concerning Hilda Conkling

Hilda Conkling (1920)
Artist unknown – Hilda Conkling (1920) – from Poems By a Little Girl (via Cadbury Research Library)

As a little girl, Hilda Conkling recited poems to her mother, Grace Hazard Conkling, who wrote them down. She would then, apparently without telling Hilda, publish some of them in journals and periodials, in particular in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse. In the issue of September the 1st, 1919, there is an interesting correspondence about Hilda, then approaching her 9th birthday, her writing and her talent. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

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…