Menu Home

Scarves on Statues – Katherine Mansfield

[Previous instalments in the ‘Scarves on Statues’ series can be found here]

Katherine Mansfield was arguably New Zealand’s best ever writer. She was born in Wellington (where this marvellous statue stands) in 1888 and died tragically young in France in 1923 of tuberculosis. In her short life, she managed to achieve a great deal. Specialising in contemporary short fiction, she produced 21 outstanding volumes of collected writings and 40 standalone short stories of the highest calibre.

There’s one I quite like that comes to mind for the purpose of this exercise, called ‘Something Childish But Very Natural’. It’s a love story about two teenagers flirting with each other as they come of age and learn the difference between dreams and the real world.

It starts with a poem by Samuel Coleridge:

Had I but two little wings,
And were a little feathery bird,
To you I’d fly, my dear,
But thoughts like these are idle things,
And I stay here.

But in my sleep to you I fly,
I’m always with you in my sleep,
The world is all one’s own,
But then one wakes and where am I?
All, all alone.

Sleep stays not though a monarch bids,
So I love to wake at break of day,
For though my sleep be gone,
Yet while ‘tis dark one shuts one’s lids,
And so, dreams on.

This morning I prised open my lids, dragged myself out of bed, and watched my beloved Roma beat Juventus 1-0 in their Coppa Italia quarter final. The jury is still out on whether this momentous victory actually happened or if in reality I’m still in bed asleep. I’ll let you know after a bit more coffee. It’s still the holidays for me after all. If it really happened though, and we manage to get past Napoli or Lazio in our next tie, I wonder if my little wings could fly me to the final… Probably only in my dreams.

Mansfield

Categories: Scarves on Statues

Tagged as:

Enzo Giordani

A grassroots football enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent club on earth - A.S. Roma. More info (including e-mail address) can be found here: https://in-the-back-of-the.net/about/

%d bloggers like this: