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…

Un rêve d’André Breton

Toyen - Portrait d'André Breton
Toyen – Portrait d’André Breton (1950)

André Breton ne fit jamais grand cas des enfants et de leurs capacités. Quand il cherchait un poète ou un artiste, c’était un homme, éventuellement une femme, jamais un enfant. Ainsi quand parurent les premiers poèmes de Minou Drouet, âgée de 8 ans, il proclama d’emblée, sans prendre la peine d’enquêter sur les faits, qu’il était impossible qu’une enfant de cet âge pût écrire par elle-même ces poèmes. 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…