Three Poems by Katherine Mansfield



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?


The Gulf

A gulf of silence separates us from each other.
I stand at one side of the gulf, you at the other.
I cannot see you or hear you, yet know that you are there.
Often I call you by your childish name
And pretend that the echo to my crying is your voice.
How can we bridge the gulf? Never by speech or touch.
Once I thought we might fill it quite up with tears.
Now I want to shatter it with our laughter.


Out in the Garden

Out in the garden,
Out in the windy, swinging dark,
Under the trees and over the flower-beds,
Over the grass and under the hedge border,
Someone is sweeping, sweeping,
Some old gardener.
Out in the windy, swinging dark,
Someone is secretly putting in order,
Someone is creeping, creeping.


About the Author

Katherine Mansfield was a New Zealand writer.

Publication Rights

All poems are in the public domain. Thanks to Project Gutenberg.

Post Image

Detail from James Nairn, Autumn Blooms, 1899.

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