The Wren

Christina Rossetti’s poem ‘Child’s Talk in April’ is a delightful metaphor for the nest building and future plans of young love. Florence Harrison’s vignette pictured above appears in my Blackie and Sons edition of the writer’s poems.

This is the artist’s colour plate illustrating the poem.

One group of nest builders currently active in our garden are wrens, which being our smallest native birds, featured on our farthing coin pre-decimalisation.

Unfortunately I have not been able to photograph one of these nippy little birds, and certainly not remain as close as the two children pictured above, so I drew one instead.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s deliciously hot and spicy pasta arrabbiata, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Recital.


  1. A delightful drawing! While you are in the nest-building phase of your feathered visitors, ours are taking a well-earned break. No longer is there a rush to collect food for youngsters, the need to build nests or even to defend territory. The feeders are more peaceful meeting places now.

  2. Your wren is perfect – no need to photograph one now!!
    People should start thinking of how they are going to build their nest after the pandemic.

  3. A wonderful post, Derrick–the C. Rossetti poem and your delightful drawing. You should feature more of your drawings. This one looks like he’s singing and ready to fly.

  4. Your talents are varied and wonderful, {{{Derrick}}} – photography, writing, and now artistic drawings, too. I’m impressed! Love those dear old poems, too. <3

  5. These drawings are much more to my taste than some of the Dickens ones. I love your little wren and also the flowers in the paving.

  6. Cock Robin Got Up Early

    Cock Robin got up early
    At the break of day,
    And went to Jenny’s window,
    To sing a roundelay.

    He sang Cock Robin’s love
    To the pretty Jenny Wren;
    And when he got unto the end,
    Then he began again.

    I doubt these two ever built a nest!

    I was five years old when I recited this nursery rhyme at my primary school concert. I had a bad stammer back then, but as an excellent early reader my parents soon learnt that I never stammered when reading aloud. They taught me to put on my best reading voice and I got through the rhyme without a single stammer.

  7. Beautiful illustrations, Derrick. I have several videos of sweet wrens signing their hearts out. I’ve either shared on FB or Instagram…not sure which. I love them!

  8. Wonderful wren poem and illustration!
    And YOUR drawing of the little wren is perfect and beautiful! šŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing it! PLEASE share more of your drawings/artwork in the future!
    Happy Wren Day and Whee-kend!!! šŸ™‚
    (((HUGS))) šŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much, Carolyn. You have probably seen other examples of my drawing scattered throughout the blog. Unfortunately, my hand is no longer steady enough for such fine work. For this wren I really struggled to adapt my technique. Perhaps there is more scope for that. X

  9. Such a fanciful poem. It was about the intimacy of love. Wonderful! Your sketch was beautiful. Iā€™m trying to do some sketching and enjoying it, all the while a nondrawer

  10. Lovely little bird the wren, I love its song and we have some resident in our garden, at least one but I think more than one. Your drawing is great Derrick, another of your talents!

  11. One of my favourite birds. We have a pair somewhere about the garden or maybe next door. My favourite fact – the male Wren builds several nests, as many as six or seven and then invites a female to select her favourite. These are called cock nests but are never completely finished or lined until the female chooses the one she wants. I suppose that is a bit like a man building a house and leaving the decoration and soft furnishings to his wife.

  12. Look at that! Another taste of Christina Rossetti’s poetry, and a fine one at that. I really enjoyed the poem and the drawing. When I’m lucky enough to catch an image of a wren, I’ll add this to my “Poet’s Birds” series.

  13. Lovely and delightful illustrations! Love the bird especially! I remember drawing birds for magazine themed features in my school…reminds me how exciting that was! ā¤ļø

  14. Excellent skill of drawing, Derrick. A couple of wrens had been nesting in my shed for years, and I was vexed by their droppings everywhere. But this year, I decided to end it and got rid of the old nests and placed a fake owl there. They squawked angrily one day and haven’t come back so far. : )

  15. A very good sketch. I couldn’t do anything remotely close. My style is a bit different. Sorry about your hand not being as steady as it was. Small “buggering” prices to pay I guess. Cheers.

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