Penny's poetry pages Wiki

Hilda Conkling (1910-1986) as pictured in Poems by a Little Girl, 1920. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Hilda Conkling (1910-1986) was an American poet.


Conkling was born in New York state, the daughter of poet Grace Hazard Conkling, an assistant professor of English at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts.[1] She had a sister, Elsa, 2 years her senior.

Hilda's father died when she was 4 years old.

Hilda Conkling is notable for having composed most of her poetry as a young child, between the ages of 4 and 10. She never wrote them down herself; instead, they came out in conversation with her mother, who would write down Hilda's words either in the moment, or from memory later. If the latter, she would read the lines back to Hilda, who would then correct any deviation from her original words. As Hilda grew up, her mother stopped recording the poems, and Hilda is not known to have written any herself as an adult.[2]

3 collections of Hilda's poetry were published during her life. Her poems were also included in the anthologies Silver Pennies (1925) and Sing a Song of Popcorn (1988). Prior to her 1st book, she was published in a number of magazines, including Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, The Delineator, Good Housekeeping, The Lyric, St. Nicholas Magazine, and Contemporary Verse.


Most of Conkling's poetry is concerned with nature; sometimes simply descriptive, sometimes mixed with elements of fantasy. Other common themes are love for her mother, stories and daydreams, and pictures or books that pleased her. Often these themes intertwine, and she often makes use of metaphor in her descriptions of plants and animals.[3]


3 of Conkling's poems – Evening, Moonsong, and Water – were used as the text for a choral piece called Three Nightsongs by American composer Joshua Shank.

"Water", "About My Dreams", "Snow Capped Mountain", and "The White Cloud" have been set to music by American composer J.D. Frizzell.




  • Summer-Day Song (illustrated by Marion Morton). New York: L.W. Singer, 1969.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[4]


Fairies Again by Hilda Conkling

Audio / video[]

  • Poems by a Little Girl (LP). New York: Caedmon, 1972.

Poems by Hilda Conkling[]

See also[]



  1. The Bookman Anthology of Verse, 1922.
  2. Author Information: Hilda Conkling, Internet Book List
  3. Conkling, Hilda. Poems by a Little Girl. Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1920.
  4. Search results = au:Hilda Conkling, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, June 10, 2014.

External links[]

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