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
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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Taylor Mali's "Silver-Lined Heart" for my Graduating Son

May 3, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, poems, poets, graduation, ponderings, Taylor Mali

I'm discovering that when your youngest, your baby, graduates from college - it feels like a big deal!

We are celebrating Seth this weekend, our old-soul 22-year-old who will be taking his degree and his very broad worldview and compassionate heart to go spend a year living and working with homeless folks.

When he was in high school, one of our favorite people on the planet, history teacher Michael McCann, took him and a group of kids (as he has done countless times) to the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in New Jersey. Seth was especially taken with hearing Taylor Mali that year.

So, for this occasion, for Seth, for life in general and in these times, the following poem seems perfect. I'm only sharing the first two stanzas; the entire poem is here. (Note: Not appropriate for young students - Thanks!)

Silver-Lined Heart
by Taylor Mali

Iím for reckless abandon
and spontaneous celebrations of nothing at all,
like the twin flutes I kept in the trunk of my car
in a box labeled Emergency Champagne Glasses!

Raise an unexpected glass to long, cold winters
and sweet hot summers and the beautiful confusion of the times in between.
To the unexpected drenching rain that leaves you soaking
wet and smiling breathless; ...

Click here for the rest.

I'm for poetry, and for all freshly-minted graduates out there! Congratulations to you and your families.

For more poetry that leaves you "smiling breathless" today, please visit another of my all-time favorite people in the world, Jama, at Jama's Alphabet Soup for the Roundup.

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. May 4, 2017 8:44 PM EDT
    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, many congrats to you Robyn. What an accomplishment. I can feel the sweet pride in your post and the see the love for the little boy in that photo. Enjoy the moment and the celebration. Taylor! What fireworks of poetry he is.
    - Linda Mitchell
  2. May 4, 2017 10:18 PM EDT
    Ah! the bitter sweet of graduation. Here's to Seth and to you! Thanks for introducing me to "Silver-Lined Heart" It grabbed me with the first lines!
    - Alice Nine
  3. May 4, 2017 11:20 PM EDT
    Thank you, Linda - he's a keeper! He's worked really hard and will graduate with a 4.0 Saturday.
    And isn't that quite the poem?

    Hi, Alice - thanks for coming by. I didn't know this one but am happy to have discovered it!
    - Robyn Black
  4. May 5, 2017 1:31 AM EDT
    A major congratulations to your son, and here's to more spontaneous everyday celebrations!!
    - Jane @ Raincity Librarian
  5. May 5, 2017 5:30 AM EDT
    I'm for Taylor Mali, and for this poem, and for this sentiment right here:
    See, like the darkest of clouds my heart has a silver lining,
    which does not harken to the loudest whining,
    but beats and stirs and grows ever more
    when I learn of the things youíre actually for.

    Congrats to Seth! A 4.0 -- that's seriously impressive! Have a wonderful time :-)
    - Tabatha
  6. May 5, 2017 7:00 AM EDT
    Congrats to your freshly-minted graduate! I hope he has a meaningful and rich gap year doing service. I love the Taylor Mali poem, and his urges toward utopia, all of us working together. Especially "optimists who consider darkness just a different kind of shining." I'm for them, too.
    - Brenda at friendlyfairytales
  7. May 5, 2017 8:54 AM EDT
    Congratulations to "your" baby, to Seth, upon his graduation, Robyn. It is a special time and I'm glad he's going to be part of making our world better, "spontaneous celebrations of nothing at all" is something everyone might be better doing. Thanks!
    - Linda Baie
  8. May 5, 2017 11:02 AM EDT
    Congratulations to Seth and his marvelous family! You are all the caring, loving, talented example we should strive for. You make this world much better in so many ways!

    Much love to each of you!! ❤️🎓
    - Linda and Jerry
  9. May 5, 2017 11:06 AM EDT
    He's graduating from college already? Seems like he just started. Congrats to Seth!! I love Taylor Mali and hadn't read this poem in a long time. Especially needed right now, since negativity and tearing people down and complaining seem to be the order of the day for so many. I am for good people like you who raise compassionate sons. We are on the same wave length today. Thanks, Robyn!
    - jama
  10. May 5, 2017 11:11 AM EDT
    Congratulations to your son--and to you! This Taylor Mali poem is perfect for these times. Tell me what you are for--rainy days spent reading a good book, long talks with my daughter and husband, walking in the woods--and those trees, dandelions that brighten up my lawn, chickens that give me eggs. I could go on and on. Thank you for reminding me of all that is good and to celebrate it.
    - Kay Jernigan McGriff
  11. May 5, 2017 11:53 AM EDT
    Hi, Jane - Many thanks, and wishing you a weekend of spontaneous celebrations!

    Tabatha, I'm for YOU and for your beautiful family celebrating this season as well. XO

    Brenda, leave it to you to make sure we include those particular optimists. Thanks for the warm wishes and all your goodness.

    Thank you, Linda, for shining your light over here - your presence makes any celebration more special.

    Linda & Jerry - Thank you for such uplifting words & wishes. You have no idea how much we treasure you.

    Hi, Jama - Whoooosh! It went by fast. Not for Seth, maybe, but for us! Thanks so much for hosting today - it's always a good day if I'm on the same wavelength as you.

    Kay - what wondrous things to be for. Dandelions that brighten up the lawn (though others would call weeds). My hubby has started making dandelion tea, in fact. I'm for all the things that nurture your soul, and the earth's.
    - Robyn Black
  12. May 5, 2017 2:23 PM EDT
    Congratulations, Seth! Enjoy the festivities, Robyn - here's to your big hearted son!
    - Tara
  13. May 5, 2017 4:01 PM EDT
    Ah what a wonderful poem, perfect in all it's imperfections (which there aren't any) for a graduating son. I think I'll pass it on to mine who just recently graduated too! Congrats to you all and thanks for sharing Taylor Mali's "Silver Lined Heart!"
    - Michelle Kogan
  14. May 5, 2017 4:29 PM EDT
    Many thanks, Tara - have a silver-lined weekend!

    Michelle - Congrats to your son, too! Poems are always welcome gifts. :0)
    - Robyn Black
  15. May 5, 2017 6:04 PM EDT
    Raising a glass of Mali's champagne to toast you and your Seth. Congraulations! Cheers! -- Christie @
    - Christie Wyman
  16. May 5, 2017 7:40 PM EDT
    I love the way Seth looks just like you and not at all, and I really like the PROness of this poem. Good to consider what you're for as you step out onto your little stand-up paddle-board onto the sea of life...

    I'm for paddles : )
    - Heidi Mordhorst
  17. May 5, 2017 8:56 PM EDT
    Congratulations! Nothing more joyful than watching your children become adults, difference making, life loving adults. Love his smile in the pictures!
    - Margaret Simon
  18. May 5, 2017 10:53 PM EDT
    Hi, Christie - thanks so much for coming by and raising a toast! Cheers right back. :0)

    Heidi - Ha! And many congratulations to your family this year, too. (Seth will LOVE the paddle board image - one of his fave things to do.)

    Hi, Margaret - they're fun as adults, aren't they? Sending all kinds of smiles to you & yours. Thanks for popping in!
    - Robyn Black
  19. May 6, 2017 7:51 AM EDT
    Congrats to you and the graduate. LOVE the poem. Am heading to the thrift store TODAY for a pair of Emergency Champagne Flutes for my trunk!
    - Mary Lee
  20. May 6, 2017 8:16 AM EDT
    Mary Lee - many thanks, and I think that's a great idea!
    - Robyn Black
  21. May 7, 2017 9:09 AM EDT
    "For love and the fragile human heart,
    may it always heal stronger than it was before."

    Amen! Congratulations to you and your son!
    - Ruth (
  22. May 7, 2017 10:39 AM EDT
    Congratulations to Seth, and to you, Robyn! Thank you for sharing this amazing poem. I'm saving it for when I need to be reminded to see "the bright side, the glass half full, the silver lining." (Which seems to be pretty often lately!)
    - Catherine @ Reading to the Core
  23. May 8, 2017 8:28 AM EDT
    Congrats to Seth - and to you,Robyn, for raising such an earnest young man!
    - Matt Forrest Esenwine
  24. May 8, 2017 10:22 PM EDT
    Thanks, Ruth - & lovely verses to highlight!

    Catherine, many thanks for the kind wishes & words. Wishing you bright days and full glasses.

    Thanks, Matt - we're pretty proud parents. Best wishes to your brood!
    - 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.
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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!