Kathleen Raine: Poems


Her first book of poetry, Stone And Flower (1943), was published by Tambimuttu, and illustrated by Barbara Hepworth. In 1946 the collection, Living in Time, was released, followed by The Pythoness in 1949. Her Collected Poems (2000) drew from eleven previous volumes of poetry. Her classics include Who Are We? There were many subsequent prose and poetry works, including her scholarly masterwork, the two-volume Blake and Tradition (published in 1969, and derived from the Andrew Mellon Lectures she delivered at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C in 1968), which demonstrated the antiquity, coherence and integrity of William Blake's philosophy, refuting T S Eliot's assertion to the contrary (Collected Essays, 1932).[7]

The story of her life is told in a three-volume autobiography notable for the author's attempts to impose a structure on her memories that is quasi mythical, thus relating her own life to a larger pattern. This reflects patterns in her poetry, influenced by W. B. Yeats. The three books were originally published separately and later brought together in a single volume, entitled Autobiographies (in conscious imitation of Yeats), edited by Lucien Jenkins.

Raine made translations of Honoré de Balzac's Cousine Bette (Cousin Bette, 1948) and Illusions perdues (Lost Illusions, 1951).

She was a frequent contributor to the quarterly journal, Studies in Comparative Religion, which dealt with religious symbolism and the Traditionalist perspective. With Keith Critchlow, Brian Keeble and Philip Sherrard she co-founded, in 1981, Temenos, a periodical, and later, in 1990, the Temenos Academy of Integral Studies, a teaching academy that stressed a multistranded universalist philosophy, and in support of her generally Platonist and Neoplatonist views on poetry and culture. She studied Thomas Taylor and published a selection of his works.[8]

Raine was a research fellow at Girton College from 1955 to 1961. She taught at Harvard for at least one course about Myth and Literature offered to teachers and professors in the summer. She also spoke on Yeats and Blake and other topics at the Yeats School in Sligo, Ireland in the summer of 1974. A professor at Cambridge and the author of a number of scholarly books, she was an expert on Coleridge, Blake,[9] and Yeats.

The contemporary composer David Matthews has written a song-cycle, The Golden Kingdom, on some of Raine's poems.

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