Home > Poetry > The Uppish Hen & other Poems by Robin Hyde, illus. by Dine. Pub. Cuba Press 2023.

The Uppish Hen & other Poems by Robin Hyde, illus. by Dine. Pub. Cuba Press 2023.

March 9, 2023

Robin Hyde was a New Zealand poet and journalist who retired to an island in the Marlborough Sounds to hide the fact that she had given birth to a son out of wedlock in the late 1920’s.

Her son was named Derek or Derry and this book was given to him in a Xmas stocking when he was 4 years old. She hoped it would be published one day and before Derry died aged 90 in 2021 he gave permission for it to be published and so it has been with beautiful illustrations by Dine.

I have a great deal of difficulty reading these days as I await surgery for cataracts but over the past 4 days I have read a little each day because the story and the poems were so compelling. Each poem is on one page with an illustration preceding it and interpreting it. There is allegedly a small mouse in each illustration but with my eyesight I couldn’t find it perhaps you will have better luck but the one sure fact is that the illustrations are superb.

The poems are about dreams and fantasies relevant to childhood. Starlings in the chimney, snails crossing a footpath in the rain, Gretel’s house in the woods, the littlest moon in a nest in the tree and others. The language is descriptive and of an age gone by but very expressive.

Useful for poetry study in primary intermediate and high school. Worth reading for adults too. Picture book sized and short with 14 poems in all.

Thankfully Robin Hyde has had her way. She deserved it.

Categories: Poetry Tags: , ,
%d bloggers like this: