Friday, June 11, 2010

though it hadn't any words (Friday's Sunday's Poem/Hot Actress 52)

When I was a Bird
by Katherine Mansfield

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 hadn't any words, but got sad at the end.
There were daisies in the grass under the tree.
I said just to try them:
"I'll bite off your heads and give them to my little
children to eat."
But they didn't 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.
That's what my song said: though it hadn't 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, you're not a bird; I can see
your legs."
But the daisies didn't really matter,
And Little Brother didn't really matter;
I felt just like a bird.

About the poem: Because I picked New Zealand as the underdog team to root for in the World's Cup, I opted to see if there were poets from New Zealand, and, lo and behold, there are! Including Katherine Mansfield, who seems to be sort of a Kiwi Shel Silverstein. I liked this poem's imagination -- because it reminds me of how Mr Bunches pretends that his crayons are airplanes, and pretends that his cars are horses. Nothing is what it's supposed to be, in a kid's world, and everything is something else.

About the Hot Actress: Sweetie said I should pick Kelly Preston. So I did. Because I do everything Sweetie tells me to do. The way I see it, she married me and has put up with me all these years; she's got to get something out of it.

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