Robyn Hood Black - children's author, poet, artist

Hannah enjoying poetry workshop

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Hanging with fellow Georgia writers (from top, l-r) Tracy Walker, Heather Kolich, Donna Bowman, (bottom, middle) Janice Hardy and Paula Puckett
photo by Steve Kolich

Susan Rosson Spain, Robyn Hood Black, Elizabeth Dulemba, and Myra Meade at the Hall Book Exchange in Gainesville, Ga.
photo by Mel Hornsby

Southern Breeze Kudos Kites 09 - Donna, Robyn, Heather, Sarah, and Peggy

Robyn with Kathleen Duey, author extraordinaire

Robyn with Alaska Nature Writer Debbie Miller

photo by Robyn Hood Black
Paul B. Janeczko

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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday: Edith Holden's Country Diary

April 6, 2017

Tags: Poetry Month, Poetry Friday, poetry, Edith Holden, English poetry, nature

Volatile weather, blankets of yellow pollen, blossoms and buds and greening of trees large and small – spring is definitely here! This week I turn to Edith Holden – do you know her? She lived a hundred years ago and captured spring, and all seasons, with her pen and paints. Best known for her “Nature Notes” which became THE COUNTRY DIARY OF AN EDWARDIAN LADY, she offers us a glimpse into a life connected to the land, and to words, and to art – much like that of Beatrix Potter.

Years and years ago, Jeff gave me a paperback copy of Edith’s COUNTRY DIARY, and I’ve managed not to lose it in all of our moves. I love that it’s reproduced as she penned it, with lettering in brown sepia and images brought to life in watercolor.

One hundred and eleven years ago today, on April 7, 1906, she recorded this:

Another glorious day. Cycled to Knowle. On the way found some Marsh Marigolds and Blackthorn in blossom. The Tadpoles have come out of their balls of jelly and career madly about the aquarium wagging their little black tails. A Gudgeon which had put into the aquarium has made a meal of a good many of them. Ground ivy in blossom.”

Isn’t that lovely?

She shared some poetry on these April pages as well. Here are the shorter excerpts:

”And wind-flowers and violets
Which yet join not scent to hue
Crown the pale year weak and new.”


“Long as there’s a sun that sets
Primroses will have their glory
Long as there are violets
They will have a place in story.”


”Now lav’rocks wake the merry morn
Aloft on dewy wing:
The merle, in his noontide bower
Makes woodland echoes ring
the mavis wild wi’ many a note
Sings drowsy day to rest,
In love and freedom they rejoice
We’ care nor thrall oppressed.

Now blooms the lily on the bank,
the primrose down the brae;
The hawthorn’s budding in the glen
And milk-white is the slae!


The book is apparently not currently in print, though I found some used copies online. I also found an English website devoted to it, and to Edith, at .
From the biography there:

As was common at the time Edith and her sisters were educated at home by their mother and they were taught to appreciate literature, including poetry which was a particular interest of Edith's parents. Sketching, painting and knowledge of nature were also considered an important part of a girl's education.

Here is also a short, interesting bio on a Unitarian Universalist site, which highlights her work as an illustrator of children’s books.

Happy Spring, to those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, and Happy Fall, to those in the Southern. And Happy Poetry Month to all! Enjoy poems blossoming all over this week at Live Your Poem, where the Incredible Irene has our Roundup, AND today’s line in the Progressive Poem, which is her brainchild, AND a new poem in her ARTSPEAK series. Enjoy!


  1. April 6, 2017 10:33 PM EDT
    Robyn, Edith Holden's Country Diary is new to me. I'm sure you treasure your copy! I'm going to take a look at the links you included. Thank you for this post. Happy Spring!
    - Linda Kulp Trout
  2. April 7, 2017 1:30 AM EDT
    I do remember reading "Country Diary" years and years ago, and just being swept up in what I imagined Edwardian England to be like. I've always loved the illustrations, so soft and lovely.
    - Jane @ Raincity Librarian
  3. April 7, 2017 6:29 AM EDT
    The simple act of standing with a flower and absorbing its beauty. Yes. A lovely post.
    - Doraine
  4. April 7, 2017 7:46 AM EDT
    I love how nature can connect us across the decades and centuries... I'd love to take a closer look at this Robyn. Bring it next time we are to meet?? Thank you! xo
    - Irene Latham
  5. April 7, 2017 8:10 AM EDT
    Hi, Linda - Happy Spring to you, too! Enjoy a dip into the creative past. :0)

    Jane, glad to share appreciations! I love the illustrations, too - they reflect the time she took to observe keenly, I think.

    Hi, Doraine - I personally need a call to slow down most days. ;0) Hope you all still have plenty of flowers after all the storms this past week.

    Irene, absolutely! Thanks so much for rounding us all up today, and orchestrating the Progressive Poem, too.
    - Robyn Black
  6. April 7, 2017 8:40 AM EDT
    No, I do not know Edith, but I think I would like to become better acquainted! Thank you for the introduction.
    - Kay Jernigan McGriff
  7. April 7, 2017 9:20 AM EDT
    I have a copy of this book from my mother-in-law long ago who knew how much I loved poetry. It is a treasure! I have to admit I haven't looked at it for a while, now time to pull it out since the flowers are coming! I love "Long as there are violets/They will have a place in story." Thanks, Robyn, hope your own spring is well out!
    - Linda Baie
  8. April 7, 2017 9:21 AM EDT
    What a delight. No wonder you've hung onto it. It sounds like a treasure. (But violets. I'm letting the team down. I do now know if I have ever written of violets!)
    - KatApel
  9. April 7, 2017 12:56 PM EDT
    Hi, Kay - So glad to introduce you! ;0) Thanks for visiting.

    Linda, once again, you always pick the lines I love the most... glad to know you have a copy, too.

    Oh, Kat - we love whatever you write. It need not be violet-driven. Thanks for popping in!
    - Robyn Black
  10. April 7, 2017 1:39 PM EDT
    I had almost forgotten about this book! Remember loving it when it first came out. Thanks for the snippets. Just lovely!
    - jama
  11. April 7, 2017 9:05 PM EDT
    Oh, those violets....sounds like a Napolean Complex if I ever heard one! What a fresh, fun post (except the yellow pollen part. ahchoo!). I so enjoy how you connect with poets of the past and share the connection with the rest of us.
    - Linda Mitchell
  12. April 8, 2017 10:27 PM EDT
    Hi, Jama - glad you enjoyed revisiting!

    Linda - Napoleon Complex - Ha! Happy to share, though I'll try to keep the pollen to myself. ;0)
    - Robyn Black
  13. April 9, 2017 8:25 AM EDT
    This sounds like a fun book to browse through the season, comparing and contrasting. We have marsh marigolds here, though I think they haven't bloomed quite yet.
    - Mary Lee
  14. April 9, 2017 4:02 PM EDT
    It is, Mary Lee! And enjoy all the blooms yet to come. Thanks for stopping by.
    - Robyn Black
  15. April 10, 2017 7:55 AM EDT
    I inherited a copy of this book from my grandmother, and I treasure it for that reason, but I haven't spent enough time delving into its beauty. Thank you for nudging me to do just that. Happy spring, Robyn!
    - Catherine @ Reading to the Core
  16. April 10, 2017 8:28 AM EDT
    Oh, Catherine, I love that your copy came from your grandmother! Wishing you blue skies and time to smell the flowers this season. :0)
    - Robyn Black

Quick Clicks

bio, photos, interview links, etc.
Explore a poem or two or five....
Explore this genre of sparely crafted poetry which offers endless depth. Resources for students, teachers, and writers.
Author visits
In schools or other settings, Robyn shares her passion for writing and encourages creativity. Presentations for all age groups.
In addition to writing books, Robyn has sold her writing to major children's magazines.
A rhyming tale of a young boy's knightly adventure with an imagined dragon.
Nonfiction, interactive book on wolves featuring giant pop-up and tons of info!