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Best Famous Katherine Mansfield Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Katherine Mansfield poems. This is a select list of the best famous Katherine Mansfield poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Katherine Mansfield poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Katherine Mansfield poems.

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Written by Katherine Mansfield |

Camomile Tea

Outside the sky is light with stars; 
There's a hollow roaring from the sea.
And, alas! for the little almond flowers, The wind is shaking the almond tree.
How little I thought, a year ago, In the horrible cottage upon the Lee That he and I should be sitting so And sipping a cup of camomile tea.
Light as feathers the witches fly, The horn of the moon is plain to see; By a firefly under a jonquil flower A goblin toasts a bumble-bee.
We might be fifty, we might be five, So snug, so compact, so wise are we! Under the kitchen-table leg My knee is pressing against his knee.
Our shutters are shut, the fire is low, The tap is dripping peacefully; The saucepan shadows on the wall Are black and round and plain to see.

Written by Katherine Mansfield |

Fairy Tale

 Now this is the story of Olaf
Who ages and ages ago
Lived right on the top of a mountain,
A mountain all covered with snow.
And he was quite pretty and tiny With beautiful curling fair hair And small hands like delicate flowers-- Cheeks kissed by the cold mountain air.
He lived in a hut made of pinewood Just one little room and a door A table, a chair, and a bedstead And animal skins on the floor.
Now Olaf was partly fairy And so never wanted to eat; He thought dewdrops and raindrops were plenty And snowflakes and all perfumes sweet.
In the daytime when sweeping and dusting And cleaning were quite at an end, He would sit very still on the doorstep And dream--O, that he had a friend! Somebody to come when he called them, Somebody to catch by the hand, Somebody to sleep with at night time, Somebody who'd quite understand.
One night in the middle of Winter He lay wide awake on his bed, Outside there was fury of tempest And calling of wolves to be fed-- Thin wolves, grey and silent as shadows; And Olaf was frightened to death.
He had peeped through a crack in the doorpost, He had seen the white smoke of their breath.
But suddenly over the storm wind He heard a small voice pleadingly Cry, "I am a snow fairy, Olaf, Unfasten the window for me.
" So he did, and there flew through the opening The daintiest, prettiest sprite Her face and her dress and her stockings, Her hands and her curls were all white.
And she said, "O you poor little stranger Before I am melted, you know, I have brought you a valuable present, A little brown fiddle and bow.
So now you can never be lonely, With a fiddle, you see, for a friend, But all through the Summer and Winter Play beautiful songs without end.
" And then,--O she melted like water, But Olaf was happy at last; The fiddle he tucked in his shoulder, He held his small bow very fast.
So perhaps on the quietest of evenings If you listen, you may hear him soon, The child who is playing the fiddle Away up in the cold, lonely moon.

Written by Katherine Mansfield |

The Storm

 I Ran to the forest for shelter,
Breathless, half sobbing;
I put my arms round a tree,
Pillowed my head against the rough bark.
"Protect me," I said.
"I am a lost child.
" But the tree showered silver drops on my face and hair.
A wind sprang up from the ends of the earth; It lashed the forest together.
A huge green wave thundered and burst over my head.
I prayed, implored, "Please take care of me!" But the wind pulled at my cloak and the rain beat upon me.
Little rivers tore up the ground and swamped the bushes.
A frenzy possessed the earth: I felt that the earth was drowning In a bubbling cavern of space.
I alone-- Smaller than the smallest fly--was alive and terrified.
Then for what reason I know not, I became trium- phant "Well, kill me!" I cried and ran out into the open.
But the storm ceased: the sun spread his wings And floated serene in the silver pool of the sky.
I put my hands over my face: I was blushing.
And the trees swung together and delicately laughed.

More great poems below...

Written by Katherine Mansfield |

Covering Wings

Love! Love! Your tenderness, Your beautiful, watchful ways Grasp me, fold me, cover me; I lie in a kind of daze, Neither asleep nor yet awake, Neither a bud nor flower.
Brings to-morrow Joy or sorrow, The black or the golden hour? Love! Love! You pity me so! Chide me, scold me--cry, "Submit--submit! You must not fight!" What may I do, then? Die? But, oh my horror of quiet beds! How can I longer stay! "One to be ready, Two to be steady, Three to be off and away!" Darling heart--your gravity! Your sorrowful, mournful gaze-- "Two bleached roads lie under the moon, At the parting of the ways.
" But the tiny, tree-thatched, narrow lane, Isn't it yours and mine? The blue-bells ring Hey, ding-a-ding, ding! And buds are thick on the vine.
Love! Love! Grief of my heart! As a tree droops over a stream You hush me, lull me, dark me, The shadow hiding the gleam.
Your drooping and tragical boughs of grace Are heavy as though with rain.
Run! Run! Into the sun! Let us be children again.

Written by Katherine Mansfield |


 These be two
What a size! Grand big arms And round red faces; Big substantial Sit-down-places; Great big bosoms firm as cheese Bursting through their country jackets; Wide big laps And sturdy knees; Hands outspread, Round and rosy, Hands to hold A country posy Or a baby or a lamb-- And such eyes! Stupid, shifty, small and sly Peeping through a slit of sty, Squinting through their neighbours' plackets.

Written by Katherine Mansfield |

Sea Song

 I will think no more of the sea! Of the big green waves And the hollowed
shore, Of the brown rock caves No more, no more Of the swell and the weed
And the bubbling foam.
Memory dwells in my far away home, She has nothing to do with me.
She is old and bent With a pack On her back.
Her tears all spent, Her voice, just a crack.
With an old thorn stick She hobbles along, And a crazy song Now slow, now quick, Wheeks in her throat.
And every day While there's light on the shore She searches for something; Her withered claw Tumbles the seaweed; She pokes in each shell Groping and mumbling Until the night Deepens and darkens, And covers her quite, And bids her be silent, And bids her be still.
The ghostly feet Of the whispery waves Tiptoe beside her.
They follow, follow To the rocky caves In the white beach hollow.
She hugs her hands, She sobs, she shrills, And the echoes shriek In the rocky hills.
She moans: "It is lost! Let it be! Let it be! I am old.
I'm too cold.
I am frightened.
the sea Is too loud.
it is lost, It is gone.
" Memory Wails in my far away home.

Written by Katherine Mansfield |

The Town Between the Hills

 The further the little girl leaped and ran,
The further she longed to be;
The white, white fields of jonquil flowers
Danced up as high as her knee
And flashed and sparkled before her eyes
Until she could hardly see.
So into the wood went she.
It was quiet in the wood, It was solemn and grave; A sound like a wave Sighed in the tree-tops And then sighed no more.
But she was brave, And the sky showed through A bird's-egg blue, And she saw A tiny path that was running away Over the hills to--who can say? She ran, too.
But then the path broke, Then the path ended And wouldn't be mended.
A little old man Sat on the edge, Hugging the hedge.
He had a fire And two eggs in a pan And a paper poke Of pepper and salt; So she came to a halt To watch and admire: Cunning and nimble was he! "May I help, if I can, little old man?" "Bravo!" he said, "You may dine with me.
I've two old eggs From two white hens and a loaf from a kind ladie: Some fresh nutmegs, Some cutlet ends In pink and white paper frills: And--I've--got A little hot-pot From the town between the hills.
" He nodded his head And made her a sign To sit under the spray Of a trailing vine.
But when the little girl joined her hands And said the grace she had learned to say, The little old man gave two dreadful squeals And she just saw the flash of his smoking heels As he tumbled, tumbled, With his two old eggs From two white hens, His loaf from a kind ladie, The fresh nutmegs, The cutlet-ends In the pink and white paper frills.
And away rumbled The little hot-pot, So much too hot, From the ton between the hills.

Written by Katherine Mansfield |

In the Rangitaki Valley

 Valley of waving broom,
O lovely, lovely light,
O hear of the world, red-gold!
Breast high in the blossom I stand;
It beats about me like waves
Of a magical, golden sea

The barren heart of the world
Alive at the kiss of the sun,
The yellow mantle of Summer
Flung over a laughing land,
Warm with the warmth of her body
Sweet with the kiss of her breath

O valley of waving broom,
O lovely, lovely light,
O mystical marriage of Earth
With the passionate Summer sun!
To her lover she holds a cup
And the yellow wine o'erflows.
He has lighted a little torch And the whole of the world is ablaze.
Prodigal wealth of love! Breast high in the blossom I stand.

Written by Katherine Mansfield |

A Fine Day

 After all the rain, the sun
Shines on hill and grassy mead;
Fly into the garden, child,
You are very glad indeed.
For the days have been so dull, Oh, so special dark and drear, That you told me, "Mr.
Sun Has forgotten we live here.
" Dew upon the lily lawn, Dew upon the garden beds; Daintly from all the leaves Pop the little primrose heads.
And the violets in the copse With their parasols of green Take a little peek at you; They're the bluest you have seen.
On the lilac tree a bird Singing first a little not, Then a burst of happy song Bubbles in his lifted throat.
O the sun, the comfy sun! This the song that you must sing, "Thank you for the birds, the flowers, Thank you, sun, for everything.

Written by Katherine Mansfield |

Winter Song

 Rain and wind, and wind and rain.
Will the Summer come again? Rain on houses, on the street, Wetting all the people's feet, Though they run with might and main.
Rain and wind, and wind and rain.
Snow and sleet, and sleet and snow.
Will the Winter never go? What do beggar children do With no fire to cuddle to, P'raps with nowhere warm to go? Snow and sleet, and sleet and snow.
Hail and ice, and ice and hail, Water frozen in the pail.
See the robins, brown and red, They are waiting to be fed.
Poor dears, battling in the gale! Hail and ice, and ice and hail.

Written by Katherine Mansfield |

Voices of the Air

 But then there comes that moment rare
When, for no cause that I can find,
The little voices of the air
Sound above all the sea and wind.
The sea and wind do then obey And sighing, sighing double notes Of double basses, content to play A droning chord for the little throats-- The little throats that sing and rise Up into the light with lovely ease And a kind of magical, sweet surprise To hear and know themselves for these-- For these little voices: the bee, the fly The leaf that taps, the pod that breaks, The breeze on the grass-tops bending by, The shrill quick sound that insect makes.

Written by Katherine Mansfield |

Butterfly Laughter

 In the middle of our porridge plates
There was a blue butterfly painted
And each morning we tried who should reach the
butterfly first.
Then the Grandmother said: "Do not eat the poor butterfly.
" That made us laugh.
Always she said it and always it started us laughing.
It seemed such a sweet little joke.
I was certain that one fine morning The butterfly would fly out of our plates, Laughing the teeniest laugh in the world, And perch on the Grandmother's lap.

Written by Katherine Mansfield |

A Joyful Song Of Five

 Come, let us all sing very high
And all sing very loud
And keep on singing in the street
Until there's quite a crowd;

And keep on singing in the house
And up and down the stairs;
Then underneath the furniture
Let's all play Polar bears;

And crawl about with doormats on,
And growl and howl and squeak,
Then in the garden let us fly
And play at hid and seek;

And "Here we gather Nuts and May,"
"I wrote a Letter" too,
"Here we go round the Mulberry Bush,"
"The Child who lost its shoe";

And every game we ever played.
And then--to stay alive-- Let's end with lots of Birthday Cake Because to-day you're five.

Written by Katherine Mansfield |


 Now it is Loneliness who comes at night
Instead of Sleep, to sit beside my bed.
Like a tired child I lie and wait her tread, I watch her softly blowing out the light.
Motionless sitting, neither left or right She turns, and weary, weary droops her head.
She, too, is old; she, too, has fought the fight.
So, with the laurel she is garlanded.
Through the sad dark the slowly ebbing tide Breaks on a barren shore, unsatisfied.
A strange wind flows.
then silence.
I am fain To turn to Loneliness, to take her hand, Cling to her, waiting, till the barren land Fills with the dreadful monotone of rain

Written by Katherine Mansfield |

Song of the Little White Girl

 Cabbage tree, cabbage tree, what is the matter?
Why are you shaking so? Why do you chatter?
Because it is just a white baby you see,
And it's the black ones you like, cabbage tree?

Cabbage tree, cabbage tree, you're a strange fellow
With your green hair and your legs browny-yellow.
Wouldn't you like to have curls, dear, like me? What! No one to make them? O poor cabbage tree! Never mind, cabbage tree, when I am taller, And if you grow, please, a little bit smaller, I shall be able by that time, bay be, To make you the loveliest curls, cabbage tree.