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Sunday, 7 September 2008

The Sea-Child

I'm too distracted for a proper post, sorry. Here's a poem -- not one of mine!

Into the world you sent her, mother,
Fashioned her body of coral and foam,
Combed a wave in her hair's warm smother,
And drove her away from home

In the dark of the night she crept to the town
And under a doorway she laid her down,
The little blue child in the foam-fringed gown.

And never a sister and never a brother
To hear her call, to answer her cry.
Her face shone out from her hair's warm smother
Like a moonkin up in the sky.

She sold her corals; she sold her foam;
Her rainbow heart like a singing shell
Broke in her body: she crept back home.

Peace, go back to the world, my daughter,
Daughter, go back to the darkling land;
There is nothing here but sad sea water,
And a handful of sifting sand.

We sang a rather lovely arrangement of that when I was in high school. It's by Katherine Mansfield, better known for her short stories. She was, and I will be, in a week, an expat Kiwi.


yunshui said...

Ex-pat Kiwi? You kept that quiet. Where are you ex-patting to?

Lynet said...

I've mentioned it a few times here and there. I'm about to start a PhD in California.

yunshui said...

Obviously I haven't trawled your archives assiduously enough. The very best of luck to you.