Voices of the Air



Short-story writer and poet, Katherine Mansfield, a pseudonym for Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp was born in 1888, in Wellington, New Zealand. She came back to London in 1908, married George Bowden (a musician), March 2, 1909, separated from him the same day, and afterwards gave birth in Bavaria to a stillborn baby by Garnet Trowell, another musician. This led to her first volume of fiction, In a German Pension (1909). Katherine Mansfield's practice was suddenly to spend several days in writing poetry, and then to abandon poetry wholly for months and years together. After meeting John Middleton Murry in 1911, they lived together until she divorced Bowden and married Murry on May 3, 1918. Mansfield lost Lesley Beauchamp, her brother, to a wartime accident in 1915. This death led to some of her greatest stories. Suffering from tuberculosis, she died from the disease in January 9, 1923.




Voices of the Air

But then there comes that moment rare
When, for no cause that I can find,
The little voices of the air
Sound above all the sea and wind.

The sea and wind do then obey
And sighing, sighing double notes
Of double basses, content to play
A droning chord for the little throats --

The little throats that sing and rise
Up into the light with lovely ease
And a kind of magical, sweet surprise
To hear and know themselves for these --

For these little voices: the bee, the fly,
The leaf that taps, the pod that breaks,
The breeze on the grass-tops bending by,
The shrill quick sound that the insect makes.

Katherine Mansfield


rare: uncommon or strange
do then obey: [emphatic use] really obey, are obedient to
sighing = suspiring
droning: noisy like the sound of a bee (abeja)
ease: easiness, freedom
pod: the vessel that contains the seeds of a plant (vaina)
breeze: slight wind (brisa)
shrill: high-pitched and sharp sound (sonido agudo)


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