Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership



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.

Search for the best famous Katherine Mansfield poems, articles about Katherine Mansfield poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Katherine Mansfield poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See also: Best Member Poems

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.


by Katherine Mansfield | |

A Day in Bed

 I wish I had not got a cold,
The wind is big and wild,
I wish that I was very old,
Not just a little child.
Somehow the day is very long Just keeping here, alone; I do not like the big wind's song, He's growling for a bone He's like an awful dog we had Who used to creep around And snatch at things--he was so bad, With just that horrid sound.
I'm sitting up and nurse has made Me wear a woolly shawl; I wish I was not so afraid; It's horrid to be small.
It really feels quite like a day Since I have had my tea; P'raps everybody's gone away And just forgotten me.
And oh! I cannot go to sleep Although I am in bed.
The wind keeps going creepy-creep And waiting to be fed.


by Katherine Mansfield | |

A New Hymn

 Sing a song of men's pyjamas,
Half-past-six has got a pair,
And he's wearing them this evening,
And he's looking such a dear.
Sing a song of frocks with pockets I have got one, it is so's I can use my `nitial hankies Every time I blow my nose.


More great poems below...

by Katherine Mansfield | |

Across The Red Sky

 Across the red sky two birds flying,
Flying with drooping wings.
Silent and solitary their ominous flight.
All day the triumphant sun with yellow banners Warred and warred with the earth, and when she yielded Stabbed her heart, gathered her blood in a chalice, Spilling it over the evening sky.
When the dark plumaged birds go flying, flying, Quiet lies the earth wrapt in her mournful shadow, Her sightless eyes turned to the red sky And the restlessly seeking birds.


by Katherine Mansfield | |

A Few Rules for Beginners

 Babies must not eat the coal
And they must not make grimaces,
Nor in party dresses roll
And must never black their faces.
They must learn that pointing's rude, They must sit quite still at table, And must always eat the food Put before them--if they're able.
If they fall, they must not cry, Though it's known how painful this is; No--there's always Mother by Who will comfort them with kisses.


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.


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.
"


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.


by Katherine Mansfield | |

A Little Boys Dream

 To and fro, to and fro
In my little boat I go
Sailing far across the sea
All alone, just little me.
And the sea is big and strong And the journey very long.
To and fro, to and fro In my little boat I go.
Sea and sky, sea and sky, Quietly on the deck I lie, Having just a little rest.
I have really done my best In an awful pirate fight, But we cdaptured them all right.
Sea and sky, sea and sky, Quietly on the deck I lie-- Far away, far away From my home and from my play, On a journey without end Only with the sea for friend And the fishes in the sea.
But they swim away from me Far away, far away From my home and from my play.
Then he cried "O Mother dear.
" And he woke and sat upright, They were in the rocking chair, Mother's arms around him--tight.


by Katherine Mansfield | |

A Little Girls Prayer

 Grant me the moment, the lovely moment
That I may lean forth to see
The other buds, the other blooms,
The other leaves on the tree:

That I may take into my bosom
The breeze that is like his brother,
But stiller, lighter, whose faint laughter
Exhoes the joy of the other.
Above on the blue and white cloud-spaces There are small clouds at play.
I watch their remote, mysterious play-time In the other far-away.
Grant I may hear the small birds singing the song that the silence knows.
.
.
(The Light and the Shadow whisper together, The lovely moment grows, Ripples into the air like water Away and away without sound, And the little girl gets up from her praying On the cold ground)


by Katherine Mansfield | |

Countrywomen

 These be two
Countrywomen.
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.


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.


by Katherine Mansfield | |

Deaf House Agent

 That deaf old man
With his hand to his ear--
His hand to hi head stood out like a shell,
Horny and hollow.
He said, "I can't hear," He muttered, "Don't shout, I can hear very well!" He mumbled, "I can't catch a word; I can't follow.
" Then Jack with a voice like a Protestant bell Roared--"Particulars! Farmhouse! At 10 quid a year!" "I dunno wot place you are talking about.
" Said the deaf old man.
Said Jack, "What the Hell!" But the deaf old man took a pin from his desk, picked a piece of wool the size of a hen's egg from his ear, had a good look at it, decided in its favour and re- placed it in the aforementioned organ.


by Katherine Mansfield | |

Grown-Up Talk

 Half-Past-Six and I were talking
In a very grown-up way;
We had got so tired with running
That we did not want to play.
"How do babies come, I wonder," He said, looking at the sky, "Does God mix the things together An' just make it-like a pie?" I was really not quite certain, But it sounded very nice; It was all that we could think of, Besides a book said "sugar and spice.
" Half-Past-Six said--He's so clever-- Cleverer than me, I mean.
.
.
"I suppose God makes the black ones When the saucepan isn't clean.
"


by Katherine Mansfield | |

Evening Song of the Thoughtful Child

 Shadow children, thin and small,
Now the day is left behind,
You are dancing on the wall,
On the curtains, on the blind.
On the ceiling, children, too, Peeping round the nursery door, Let me come and play with you, As we always played before.
Let's pretend that we have wings And can really truly fly Over every sort of things Up and up into the sky.
Where the sweet star children play-- It does seem a dreadful rule, They must stay inside all day.
I suppose they go to school.
And to-night, dears, do you see, They are having such a race With their father moon--the tree Almost hides his funny face.
Shadow children, once at night, I was all tucked up in bed, Father moon came--such a fright-- Through the window poked his head; I could see his staring eyes, O, my dears, I was afraid, That was not a nice surprise, And the dreadful noise I made! Let us make a fairy ring, Shadow children, hand in hand, And our songs quite softly sing That we learned in fairyland.
Shadow children, hin and small, See, the day is far behind; And I kiss you--on the wall-- On the curtains--on the blind.


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.
1913


by Katherine Mansfield | |

Firelight

 Playing in the fire and twilight together,
My little son and I,
Suddenly--woefully--I stoop to catch him.
"Try, mother, try!" Old Nurse Silence lifts a silent finger: "Hush! cease your play!" What happened? What in that tiny moment Flew away?


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.


by Katherine Mansfield | |

Jangling Memory

 Heavens above! here's an old tie of your--
Sea-green dragons stamped on a golden ground.
Ha! Ha! Ha! What children we were in those days.
Do you love me enough to wear it now? Have you the courage of your pristine glories? Ha! Ha! Ha! You laugh and shrug your shoulders.
Those were the days when a new tie spelt a fortune: We wore it in turn--I flaunted it as a waist-belt.
Ha! Ha! Ha! What easily satisfied babies.
"I think I'll turn into a piano duster.
" "Give it to me, I'll polish my slippers on it!" Ha! Ha! Ha! The rag's not worth the dustbin.
"Throw the shabby old thing right out of the window; Fling it into the faces of other children!" Ha! Ha! Ha! We laughed and laughed till the tears came!


by Katherine Mansfield | |

Loneliness

 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


by Katherine Mansfield | |

Night-Scented Stock

 White, white in the milky night
The moon danced over a tree.
"Wouldn't it be lovely to swim in the lake!" Someone whispered to me.
"Oh, do-do-do!" cooed someone else, And clasped her hands to her chin.
"I should so love to see the white bodies-- All the white bodies jump in!" The big dark house hid secretly Behind the magnolia and the spreading pear-tree; But there was a sound of music--music rippled and ran Like a lady laughing behind her fan, Laughing and mocking and running away.
.
.
"Come into the garden--it's as light as day!" "I can't dance to that Hungarian stuff, The rhythm in it is not passionate enough," Said somebody.
"I absolutely refuse.
.
.
.
" But he took off his socks and his shoes And round he spun.
"It's like Hungarian fruit dishes Hard and bright--a mechanical blue!" His white feet flicked in the grass like fishes.
.
.
Someone cried: "I want to dance, too!" But one with a queer Russian ballet head Curled up on a blue wooden bench instead.
And another, shadowy--shadowy and tall-- Walked in the shadow of the dark house wall, Someone beside her.
It shone in the gloom, His round grey hat, like a wet mushroom.
"Don't you think perhaps.
.
.
" piped someone's flute.
"How sweet the flowers smell!" I heard the other say.
Somebody picked a wet, wet pink, Smelled it and threw it away.
"Is the moon a virgin or is she a harlot?" Asked somebody.
Nobody would tell.
The faces and the hands moved in a pattern As the music rose and fell, In a dancing, mysterious, moon-bright pattern Like flowers nodding under the sea.
.
.
The music stopped and there was nothing left of them But the moon dancing over the tree.


by Katherine Mansfield | |

Now I am a Plant a Weed...

 Now I am a plant, a weed,
Bending and swinging
On a rocky ledge;
And now I am a long brown grass
Fluttering like flame;
I am a reed;
An old shell singing
For ever the same;
A drift of sedge;
A white, white stone;
A bone;
Until I pass
Into sand again,
And spin and blow
To and fro, to and fro,
On the edge of the sea
In the fading light--
For the light fades.
But if you were to come you would not say: "She is not waiting here for me; She has forgotten.
" Have we not in play Disguised ourselves as weed and stones and grass While the strange ships did pass Gently, gravely, leaving a curl of foam That uncurled softly about our island home, Bubbles of foam that glittered on the stone Like rainbows? Look, darling! No, they are gone.
And the white sails have melted into the sailing sky.
.
.


by Katherine Mansfield | |

On a Young Ladys Sixth Anniversary

 Baby Babbles--only one,
Now to sit up has begun.
Little Babbles quite turned two Walks as well as I and you.
And Miss Babbles one, two, three, Has a teaspoon at her tea.
But her Highness at four Learns to open the front door.
And her Majesty--now six, Can her shoestrings neatly fix.
Babbles, babbles, have a care, You will soon put up your hair!


by Katherine Mansfield | |

The Lonesome Child

 The baby in the looking-glass
Is smiling through at me;
She has her teaspoon in her hand,
Her feeder on for tea.
And if I look behind her I Can see the table spread; I wonder if she has to eat The nasty crusts of bread.
Her doll, like mine, is sitting close Beside her special chair, She has a pussy on her lap; It must be my cup there.
Her picture-book is on the floor, The cover's just the same; And tidily upon the shelf I see my Ninepin game.
O baby in the looking-glass, Come through and play with me, And if you will, I promise, dear, To eat your crusts at tea.


by Katherine Mansfield | |

Opposites

 The Half-Soled-Boots-With-Toecaps-Child
Walked out into the street
And splashed in all the pubbles till
She had such shocking feet

The Patent-Leather-Slipper-Child
Stayed quietly in the house
And sat upon the fender stool
As still as any mouse.
The Half-Soled-Boots-With-Toecaps-Child Her hands were black as ink; She would come running through the house And begging for a drink.
The Patent-Leather-Slipper-Child Her hands were white as snow; She did not like to play around, She only liked to sew.
The Half-Soled-Boots-With-Toecaps-Child Lost hair ribbons galore; She dropped them on the garden walks, She dropped them on the floor.
The Patent-Leather-Slipper-Child O thoughtful little girl! She liked to walk quite soberly, It kept her hair in curl.
The Half-Soled-Boots-With-Toecaps-Child When she was glad or proud Just flung her arms round Mother's neck And kissed her very loud.
The Patent-Leather-Slipper-Child Was shocked at such a sight, She only offered you her cheek At morning and at night.
O Half-Soled-Boots-With-Toecaps-Child Your happy laughing face Does like a scented Summer rose Make sweet the dullest place.
O Patent-Leather-Slipper-Child My dear, I'm well content To have my daughter in my arms, And not an ornament.