Meet poet and writer, Sally Cronin, and a review of her latest book

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Today is the start of a new poetry appreciation series here on Writing to be Read where I will be introducing you to a number of wonderful poets in our blogging community, discussing well known poets and their poetry and reviewing poetry books. I hope you will participate in the discussions and enjoy meeting and greeting the poets, both new and known to you, and discovering new books of poetry.

My first guest is accomplished poet and writer, Sally Cronin, of Smorgasbord Blog Magazine blog. Sally has recently published a new book of poetry, 99-word flash fiction and short stories called, Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in words which I have reviewed below. Before we get there, however, Sally is going to share her thoughts about her favourite poem, The Law of the Jungle by Rudyard Kipling. 

Over to Sally

What is your favourite poem?

That is an extremely tough question and had me stumped for a couple of days as I wanted to revisit the poems that I have loved since childhood to make sure that this really would qualify as my favourite poem.

The Law of the Jungle by Rudyard Kipling

(From The Jungle Book)

Now this is the Law of the Jungle — as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back —
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

Wash daily from nose-tip to tail-tip; drink deeply, but never too deep;
And remember the night is for hunting, and forget not the day is for sleep.
The Jackal may follow the Tiger, but, Cub, when thy whiskers are grown,
Remember the Wolf is a Hunter — go forth and get food of thine own.
Keep peace with Lords of the Jungle — the Tiger, the Panther, and Bear.
And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the Boar in his lair.
When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail,
Lie down till the leaders have spoken — it may be fair words shall prevail.
When ye fight with a Wolf of the Pack, ye must fight him alone and afar,
Lest others take part in the quarrel, and the Pack be diminished by war.
The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home,
Not even the Head Wolf may enter, not even the Council may come.
The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain,
The Council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again.
If ye kill before midnight, be silent, and wake not the woods with your bay,
Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop, and your brothers go empty away.
Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need, and ye can;
But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill Man!
If ye plunder his Kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride;
Pack-Right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide.
The Kill of the Pack is the meat of the Pack. Ye must eat where it lies;
And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies.
The Kill of the Wolf is the meat of the Wolf. He may do what he will;
But, till he has given permission, the Pack may not eat of that Kill.
Cub-Right is the right of the Yearling. From all of his Pack he may claim
Full-gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same.
Lair-Right is the right of the Mother. From all of her year she may claim
One haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same.
Cave-Right is the right of the Father — to hunt by himself for his own:
He is freed of all calls to the Pack; he is judged by the Council alone.
Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw,
In all that the Law leaveth open, the word of your Head Wolf is Law.

Now these are the Laws of the Jungle, and many and mighty are they;
But the head and the hoof of the Law and the haunch and the hump is — Obey!

Robbie: This is a wonderful choice of poem, Sally. I also love it. Interestingly enough my favourite poem is also by Rudyard Kipling and I will share it later in this series.

What is your interpretation of this poem?

This is about living in harmony within a society whether it is a wolf pack or amongst a human pack. Having social etiquette and respect for others is essential if all are to avoid conflicts, get enough to eat, be accepted and to thrive.  There is a natural order to things and if you learn that when you are young, when you leave your pack you are well equipped to survive on your own with the skills to begin your own pack. And whilst is sounds draconian, those rules are there to protect the young as well as teach them manners.  It applies to both wolf cubs and man cubs….

Robbie: A wonderful interpretation of this poem and of life in general. I have similar thoughts on how societies can best achieve success and one of my favourite key words in this regard is the need for discipline. 

What emotions does the poem invoke in you?

When I first read the Jungle Book I was too young to really appreciate the undertones in the story about life, survival and the human and animal parallels. But I loved the book and this poem was rich in both words and intent, and when I was ten or eleven and read for the second time, I could see how this philosophy of life in the pack, related to life in a family. It made me feel secure to think of my father as the Head Wolf, and it also made me very protective of my other family members including my younger brother, who probably did not appreciate all the attention I lavished on him as I would like to believe!  It also brings back memories of our time with Sam [Robbie: Sam is a lovely dog who was part of Sally and David’s family for many years before he passed. He has his own book called Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story] as our own small pack and how interestingly he adopted his own social rules of etiquette that run parallel to those in the poem. For example he considered us his alpha male and female and he would not start his own dinner until we were eating our own.  He was very protective of any young family members who visited and also the elderly, sticking close to them. If he spotted something that he considered might be dangerous to us, he would always put himself between us and the threat. Whenever I saw him exhibiting these kinds of behaviour it always bought this poem back to me and made me so proud.

Robbie: Isn’t it wonderful the powerful emotions and associations a poem can invoke in a reader. Sam was a wonderful dog. You can read my review of Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story here: Goodreads review

If you could choose to write like any well-known poet, who would it be?

That is another tough question Robbie as there are many poets who have stirred my emotions and also my imagination. And whilst I would love to be able to write like Rudyard Kipling both in prose and verse, I am always drawn to the young and sometimes short lived war poets. They conveyed the reality of war, stripping it bare of glory but telling a story in a few short lines.  Their legacy is that we never forget those who died, even if we might not always learn the lessons we need to from their passing.

Rupert Brooke for me is one of the finest examples of these poets, and if I could convey the depth of emotion, intent and storytelling in my poetry, I would be very happy indeed.  Whilst The Soldier is the most often quoted poem, certainly at military funerals, it is one of his peacetime poems that always resonates with me especially as I get older and celebrate married life.

Kindliness by Rupert Brooke

When love has changed to kindliness —
Oh, love, our hungry lips, that press
So tight that Time’s an old god’s dream
Nodding in heaven, and whisper stuff
Seven million years were not enough
To think on after, make it seem
Less than the breath of children playing,
A blasphemy scarce worth the saying,
A sorry jest, “When love has grown
To kindliness — to kindliness!” . . .
And yet — the best that either’s known
Will change, and wither, and be less,
At last, than comfort, or its own
Remembrance. And when some caress
Tendered in habit (once a flame
All heaven sang out to) wakes the shame
Unworded, in the steady eyes
We’ll have, — THAT day, what shall we do?
Being so noble, kill the two
Who’ve reached their second-best? Being wise,
Break cleanly off, and get away.
Follow down other windier skies
New lures, alone? Or shall we stay,
Since this is all we’ve known, content
In the lean twilight of such day,
And not remember, not lament?
That time when all is over, and
Hand never flinches, brushing hand;
And blood lies quiet, for all you’re near;
And it’s but spoken words we hear,
Where trumpets sang; when the mere skies
Are stranger and nobler than your eyes;
And flesh is flesh, was flame before;
And infinite hungers leap no more
In the chance swaying of your dress;
And love has changed to kindliness.

Rupert Brooke

Robbie: An amazing poem, Sally, thank you for sharing it with us. The war poets certainly know how to highlight the best and worst life has to offer.

Thank you so much for inviting me over today to share my love of poetry and thank you for your wonderful reviews for my work which keep me motivated.

Robbie: Thank you for your contribution to Treasuring Poetry, Sally. Your thoughts and input are greatly appreciated.

Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in words by Sally Cronin

What Amazon says

Life’s Rich Tapestry is a collection of verse, microfiction and short stories that explore many aspects of our human nature and the wonders of the natural world. Reflections on our earliest beginnings and what is yet to come, with characters as diverse as a French speaking elephant and a cyborg warrior.

Finding the right number of syllables for a Haiku, Tanka, Etheree or Cinquain focuses the mind; as does 99 word microfiction, bringing a different level of intensity to storytelling. You will find stories about the past, the present and the future told in 17 syllables to 2,000 words, all celebrating life.

This book is also recognition of the value to a writer, of being part of a generous and inspiring blogging community, where writing challenges encourage us to explore new styles and genres.

My review

This new book sees author, Sally Cronin, delving into new genres in the form of a variety of styles of poetry and 99-word flash fiction pieces. It also includes a number of her delightful short stories, although those differ from others that I have read by this author as many of them feature an animal as the main character.

The poetry is beautiful and is split into sections, namely, Seasons of the year; All things human; Fairies and other folk; The natural world; Remembrance, Celebrating pets and Random thoughts. The poems included in the sections entitled Season of the year and The natural world largely feature the natural environment, including the various seasons and the different creatures that inhabit it, and makes use of all the senses to wrap the reader in the specific joys and pleasures of the flowers, the light, celebrations, birds and and other natural phenomena including drought, snow and frost.

The poetry sections entitled All things human, Remembrance and Random thoughts as well as some of the flash fiction and short stories utilize the writer’s amazing ability to invoke great emotion from her readers towards her characters and their circumstances and situations, while being easy to relate to and highly believable.

The poems and stories that feature pets and animals showcase the authors love of the animal world and convey the special relationships that frequently develop between people and their pets.

I appreciate the undertone of happiness that is generally present in this authors books and stories. It is a wonderful thing to be able to read a book that makes you feel great emotion and still come out on the other end with the impression that life is a wonderful and great journey. This is definitely a skill that Ms Cronin has and uses to its best advantage in all her books, poems and stories.

Purchase Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in words

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in Words Kindle Edition

About Sally Cronin

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another twelve books since then on health and also fiction, including four collections of short stories. My latest book is a collection of verse, micro fiction and speculative short stories titled Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in Words

I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.. as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

My blog is
And for more information on my books listed here at Amazon please visit

You can connect with Sally Cronin on the following sites.


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119 Comments on “Meet poet and writer, Sally Cronin, and a review of her latest book”

  1. Ritu says:

    Such great porm choices!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Robbie's inspiration and commented:

    Sally Cronin from the delightful Smorgasbord blog is visiting me today over at Writing to be Read as my featured guest for my new Treasuring Poetry series. Come over and learn more about Sally’s favourite poem and other poetic thoughts as well as read my review of her latest book of poetry, flash fiction and short stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    I am delighted to be featured today in the first of a new series Treasuring Poetry on Writing to be Read (Kaye Lynne Booth)interviewed by Robbie Cheadle…A wonderful opportunity to share the poems that I love to read, and delighted that Robbie has also shared her recent review of Life’s Rich Tapestry.. and if you would like to know the two poems I chose…please head over to find out…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you very much Robbie for wonderful questions and the opportunity to share the poems that I love… and to Kaye Lynn for hosting..much appreciated.. I will share again later in the week.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a lovely way to start the review post. I enjoyed both of Sally’s choices for poems and her reasons for choosing them. And an awesome review of her book. I totally agree with the underlying positivity that shows up in all her poems and stories. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Diana, I also enjoyed Sally’s answers and choice of poem. Her book is a delightful read.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. dgkaye says:

    Sally and her writing are pure gems. So great to see her getting spotlight here today. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. delphini510 says:

    Robbie, your review of Sally Cronin’s – Life’s rich Tapestry- is great and gives a clear and warm picture. I also enjoyed Sally’s and your conversation. Or your questions and Sally’s beautiful
    answers. It is enlightening to know how a writer and poet experiences other work.
    Kipling is loved and many of us love some of his work.
    Sally, I had never heard this one but am really taken by the poem.


    Liked by 1 person

  9. Angie says:

    Great interview! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Grand to see Sally featured here. To celebrate this lady and her writing talents is most appropriate! Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great review, and a wonderful poem too. Thank you very much! Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jacqui Murray says:

    I like Rudyard Kipling-type of poetry (and Robert Frost) so I agree about this one. Nice analysis, Sally.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. teachezwell says:

    Fabulous interview and what terrific poetry selections! Thanks for introducing this book!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great review and wonderful post highlighting Sally’s many talents! Must share…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. balroop2013 says:

    I loved both… analysis of the favorite poem and the review of Sally’s book. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Elizabeth says:

    Sally–you might appreciate a book I recently read called “If” about Kipling’s time in the United States. Well written and very informative.


  17. Thank you for having Sally on your blog today, Robbie. The questions as answers were terrific. Sally is a treasure.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Mary Smith says:

    Great questions and answers. I’m also a fan (as Sally knows) of the war poets of the First World War. Lovely review.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. olganm says:

    A fascinating idea for a series of interviews and features, Robbie, and Sally wears so many caps, she is the perfect guest as well. I am also fond of Kiplin and the War Poets, although not a writer of poetry myself. Another great review for Sally’s new book as well. Thanks, Robbie and congratulations to Sally!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I thoroughly enjoyed the first post in this new series, both the poems and Sally’s commentary on them. I look forward to the next conversation.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Christy B says:

    This is my first time reading the poem Kindliness and it is a wonderful read, indeed. Great to see this interview, Sally and Robbie! Congrats Sally on your latest book ~ You are prolific!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Annika Perry says:

    Wow! A wonderful interview with Sally, Robbie and I love your questions, particularly regarding the poems! Sally, it’s been a treat to be introduced to these poems and your thoughts around them. Wishing you both a lovely start to the week xx! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Enjoyed the interview, Sally and Robbie. You chose two beautiful poems to share, Sally, no wonder you love it so!
    Lovely review of Life’s Rich Tapestry- it’s a great book!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Teri Polen says:

    Wonderful to see Sally featured here, Robbie – and beautiful poems. Congrats on the review, Sally!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Jan Sikes says:

    What a beautiful post, Robbie! It’s a different take on interviewing and I love it. Sally’s answers and her poem choices tell us SO much about the wonderful soul that she is. Thank you for featuring her and your review is fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. What a great interview, Sally and Kayelynn. I loved Sally’s book too. She speaks, poetry. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Jim Borden says:

    Sally is one of the most generous people I have met in the world of blogging. How kind of you to feature her on your blog. Wonderful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Jane Sturgeon says:

    What a lovely post. Thank you Kaye Lynn, Robbie and Sally. I have never read Rupert Brooke’s poem Kindliness. My daughter studied the war poets, but not this poem. Rudyard Kipling’s work is a joy, always. I loved Robbie’s review of Sally’s latest book. You shine a special light, Sally, beautifully highlighted here. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  29. […] And to find that out you will need to head over to the post…where you will find some great questions about poetry and another of my favourites as well as Robbie’s review for my latest collection: Treasuring Poetry with Writing to be Read and Robbie Cheadle […]

    Liked by 1 person

  30. […] Cheadle’s poet guests included Sally Cronin, Colleen Chesebro, Victoria Zigler, Sue Vincent, Annette Rochelle Aben, Christy Birmingham, Kevin […]


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