new zealand electronic poetry centre

Ursula Bethell

online works



I said: I will go into the garden and consider roses;
I will observe the deployment of their petals,
And compare one variety with another.
But I was made to sit down and scrape potatoes.

The morning’s rosebuds passed by unattended,
While I sat bound to monotonous kitchen industry.
Howbeit the heart of my consort was exhilarated,
And for virtuous renunciation I received praise.

The taste of the potatoes was satisfactory
With a sprig of fresh mint, dairy butter, and very young green peas.


From a Garden in the Antipodes (Sidgwick & Jackson, 1929)


Last updated 9 April, 2005