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 http://www.countrydiary.co.uk/ .
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!