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

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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.
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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday: Happy New Year with a Treasure from the (Victorian) Past...

January 2, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, history, Etsy, art, writing life, home

CROWN JEWELS - And, as the steel engravings suggest, "Looking into the Future," I wish you a year of "Health and Beauty."

I went for a brisk walk New Year's Day morning, only to discover a package in the carport - evidently left by the postal carrier the afternoon before. Let's just say a holiday of opening presents continued... .

You've heard me gush before about my author friend and resident Etsy "expert" Kim Siegelson, who always keeps an eye out for perfectly imperfect vintage treasures. She has a wonderful Etsy shop, Perfect Patina. The last time we met for lunch and antiquing (is there a more perfect way to spend an afternoon?) she'd mentioned having an old book to send me, but I couldn't have imagined. Well, the title speaks for itself:

Crown Jewels
Gems of Literature, Art, and Music
Choice Selections from the Writings and Musical Productions of the Most Celebrated Authors, From the Earliest Times:

(I'll omit the list of genres here, but "The Whole" does indeed form "A Vast Treasury of the Gems of Poetry, Prose, and Song"!) Its 632 pages, compiled by Henry Davenport Northrop, D. D., were published in 1888.

Here are some opening and closing lines from the Publisher's Announcement printed inside:

"This magnificent work, which comprises many books in one volume, is a vast treasury of the Choicest Gems of English Literature, in prose and poetry. It contains those resplendent jewels of thought, feeling and sentiment which fascinate, instruct and entertain the reader....
The Prospectus is very attractive, and shows at a glance the great superiority of this book over other similar works that are illustrated with cheap woodcuts. ..."

Gotta love those Victorians! Well, let's just say this collection will fuel some artsyletters inspiration for years to come. Thank you, Kim!

The poem I've chosen to share is from the first section, "The Home Circle." I suppose it's because we've been between homes lately - making this move from north Georgia to coastal South Carolina, with kids in colleges several hours away. Transitions are never easy, but I look forward to this adventure in our new home town, greeting each day from our new front porch. With afternoon tea out there, too, of course!


by W. T. Wrighton

The dearest spot of earth to me
      is home, sweet home!
    The fairy land I long to see
      is home, sweet home!
There, how charmed the sense of hearing!
There, where love is so endearing!
All the world is not so cheering
    as home, sweet home!

      The dearest spot of earth to me
      is home, sweet home!
    The fairy land I long to see
      is home, sweet home!

I've taught my heart the way to prize
   My home, sweet home!
I've learned to look with lovers' eyes
On home, sweet home!

There, where vows are truly plighted!
There, where hearts are so united!
All the world besides I've slighted
    For home, sweet home!

      The dearest spot of earth to me
      is home, sweet home!
    The fairy land I long to see
      is home, sweet home!

Wishing a happy 2014 to your home, sweet home! Poetry Friday is at home today at I Think in Poems, where the Bedazzling Betsy has this week's Roundup.


  1. January 3, 2014 3:41 AM EST
    Best of luck to you in your new home, Robyn! Here's wishing you many lovely hours on that porch in 2014. The poem you've shared is just so full-hearted, isn't it? The Victorians never felt the need to hold that kind of sentiment back in their poetry, and sometimes I envy them for it. Thanks for posting the poem (and for sharing the link to Perfect Patina!)
    - Julie Larios
  2. January 3, 2014 6:22 AM EST
    A fulsome expression of Home Sweet Home if ever I heard one! (Punctuated by the unsparing use of exclamation marks, of course!) Thank you for sharing this lovely gift and for your warm welcome to the New Year, Robyn. Wishing you luck in the completion of your transition, and love in your new seaside home sweet home!
    - Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
  3. January 3, 2014 7:35 AM EST
    Ah, home sweet home is a place we can all relate longing for. I love how you talked about greeting the day from a different porch. I hope you can visit your home sweet home porch someday soon.
    - Betsy Hubbard
  4. January 3, 2014 8:37 AM EST
    Happy New Year to you too m'dear! What a lovely poem! Hugs, e
    - Elizabeth D
  5. January 3, 2014 9:18 AM EST
    Gotta love the enthusiasm of that poem! A thoughtful gift indeed... thinking of you as you transition. xo
    - irene latham
  6. January 3, 2014 9:43 AM EST
    Happy New Year, Julie! Thank you for such kind wishes. I love reading those writings, though if my own writing ever drifts too far in that direction, you'll send me a note, right? ;0) Glad you discovered Kim's great shop, too.

    Hi, Michelle! "Fulsome" is the right word. Thanks for all your good energy, and you know the way to our new hometown, so....! (like the exclamation point?)

    Betsy, thanks again for hosting today, and for sharing so much about your own wonderful home in your post. :0)

    e, Happy New Year, and thanks! Hoping to get a real hug in person soon.

    Thanks, Irene - yep, brimming with enthusiasm, and SO many exclamation points, as Michelle noted. ;0) I appreciate your warm wishes.
    - Robyn Black
  7. January 3, 2014 10:09 AM EST
    600 + pages is truly a gift that will last & last, Robyn. I think home, sweet home can be anywhere, and love the sentiment of the poem, remember quite a few 'sweet homes' in my life! I hope your new one, & that front porch, slips sweetly into your life too! Thanks for sharing the book & the poem.
    - Linda Baie
  8. January 3, 2014 10:15 AM EST
    I love a gushing Victorian poem! With exclamation points! Here's to a new home, new year, new hopes, discoveries, and inspiration…
    Kim S.
    - Kim
  9. January 3, 2014 10:21 AM EST
    Those Victorians were so overwrought, but, their words do provide comfort. Today, there's no porch sitting in NH--it's hovering around zero! I hope it's warm and lovely wherever you are today!
    - Diane Mayr
  10. January 3, 2014 10:28 AM EST
    How exciting to think of a new home, sweet home! Happy New Year, Robyn.
    - Tara
  11. January 3, 2014 11:09 AM EST
    Happy happy new sweet home to you, Robyn. May it be as full of love and warmth as this poem! My sister recently gave me an antique volume of children's poems, and I may just pull it out on this evercold day. Thank you for the inspiration! Happy New Year... xo, a.
    - Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
  12. January 3, 2014 11:15 AM EST
    We moved to our new house about a year ago. I still miss our "old" home, but we're discovering lots of good things about our new home too.
    - Linda
  13. January 3, 2014 11:20 AM EST
    Hi, Linda B - It's amazing how we relive those previous "home sweet homes" while packing up for the next one. Thanks for all your kindnesses!

    Kim - thank YOU again. And if your supply of gushing Victorian poems runs thin, you know where to come for a refill. ;0)

    Brrrr, Diane - I've been thinking of all my Poetry Friday friends in frigid climes. I'll quit whining about the cold blasty air outside - we do have sunshine today! (Stay cozy up there.)

    Thank you, Tara! hope you have a sweet new year. :0)

    Amy, that sounds like a perfect pursuit on a blizzard-y day. And as you read all those good old poems, bask a little in "Forest"'s accolades, K? xo

    Linda, best wishes as you continue to settle into new digs. It can take a while! Glad you are discovering new treasures there. Thanks for coming by!
    - Robyn Black
  14. January 3, 2014 2:32 PM EST
    Sounds like a gem of a book (or should I say a gem! of a book!) Here's hoping your new home, sweet home becomes the dearest spot of earth to you. Happy 2014!
    - Buffy Silverman
  15. January 3, 2014 4:05 PM EST
    Buffy! So great to have you drop in! Really! Thank you - ;0) - and wishing you a creative and inspiring 2014.
    - Robyn Black
  16. January 3, 2014 5:27 PM EST
    I ALWAYS enjoy stopping by to see you. Thanks for sharing this great find. What is your OLW for 2014? I'm not sure what OLW stands for? And pray tell, what does one do on an afternoon of antiquing? Go shopping for old things? Happy New Year and I loved the jeweled palm tree on your Christmas card.
    - Joy Acey
  17. January 3, 2014 5:43 PM EST
    I got to enjoy TWO homes this break -- I spent a week at Mom's in my childhood home, and it felt so good to come back to Ohio, which is now my true home. (whoda thunk?) Home is good, no matter where it is.
    - Mary Lee
  18. January 3, 2014 5:47 PM EST
    The book sounds absolutely beautiful, something to treasure for years to come. Hope you get many chances to curl up with this gem on your porch. Thanks for sharing!
    - Liana at
  19. January 4, 2014 12:44 PM EST
    I hope your new home is all you dreamed it would be. Jealous of your new treasure -- old books are so delightful! Thanks for sharing this poem, too. After a week away from home and husband, I'm happily back in my home, sweet home. (And home, sweet bed-of-my-own!)
    - Keri Collins Lewis
  20. January 4, 2014 3:52 PM EST
    How does your son like BU, Robyn? As I type this, my husband is taking our daughter to the airport to go back to Nashville. So nice to have her home for an extended holiday stay. I hope your transitions go well!
    - Tabatha
  21. January 5, 2014 6:53 PM EST
    Hi, Joy! Thanks for coming by and for your kind words. Glad you liked the Christmas card! Re. antiquing - oh, yes, the older, the better. I'm not sure what OLW is either... our friends who are focused enough to circle around one word all year have my admiration, but I've got fingers in too many pies. ;0)

    Mary Lee, I enjoyed reading a bit about your holiday with your mom. Yes, "home is good, no matter where it is." :0)

    Thanks, Liana - that is a gorgeous name - and I hope you find many new things to treasure this new year, too.

    Keri - glad you made it safely back from out West to your hubby and your bees. And your own comfy bed! Happy New Year!

    Hi, Tabatha! He does like Belmont, thanks. Is your daughter enjoying college in Nashville? I made him go back early yesterday (Sat.) though, as I didn't want any chance of his getting caught on the wind-y roads in this weather that's probably hitting there right now...! Thanks for the good moving wishes & Happy New Year.
    - 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!