The poems have been roughly grouped in periods. Katherine Mansfield’s practice was suddenly to spend several days in writing poetry, and then to abandon poetry wholly for months and years together. “Poems at the Villa Pauline,” with the exception of the sonnet to L. H. B., were written in curious circumstances. Villa Pauline was a four-roomed cottage on the shore of the Mediterranean where we lived in 1916. For the whole of one week we made a practice of sitting together after supper at a very small table in the kitchen and writing verses on a single theme which we had chosen. It seems to me now almost miraculous that so exquisite a poem as, for instance, “Voices of the Air,” should have been thus composed.
The Child Verses at the end of the volume were written when Katherine Mansfield was still at Queen’s College. They were saved from destruction by one of her friends.