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Poem by Katherine Mansfield


When I was a Bird


I climbed up the karaka tree
Into a nest all made of leaves
But soft as feathers.
I made up a song that went on singing all by itself
And hadnt any words, but got sad at the end.
There were daisies in the grass under the tree.
I said just to try them:
Ill bite off your heads and give them to my little children to eat.
But they didnt believe I was a bird;
They stayed quite open.
The sky was like a blue nest with white feathers
And the sun was the mother bird keeping it warm.
Thats what my song said: though it hadnt any words.
Little Brother came up the patch, wheeling his barrow.
I made my dress into wings and kept very quiet.
Then when he was quite near I said: Sweet, sweet!
For a moment he looked quite startled;
Then he said: Pooh, youre not a bird; I can see
your legs.
But the daisies didnt really matter,
And Little Brother didnt really matter;
I felt just like a bird.



Katherine Mansfield


Katherine Mansfield's other poems:
  1. A New Hymn
  2. Song of Karen, the Dancing Child
  3. The Lonesome Child
  4. Sanary
  5. Now I am a Plant, a Weed...


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