Kathleen Jessie Raine
Biography of Kathleen Jessie Raine
Kathleen Raine was born in London in 1908, where she grew up; taking on a number of unsatisfactory jobs. Through one of her later jobs she met the nephew of the Indian mystic Rama Coomaraswamy Tambimuttu, who invited her to contribute to his new magazine, Poetry London, she did of course, and soon developed a lifelong passion for all things Indian. Raine began to seriously write toward her late twenties, and by 1943 she had published her first collection of poetry Stone and Flower, which was illustrated by Barbara Hepworth. Three years later the collection Living in Time was released, followed by The Pythoness in 1949.
Raine married twice, each time unhappily due to dissatisfaction with domesticity. She was even quoted as saying she felt "as if I were living in someone else's dream.” This unhappiness led to an affair with a gay writer named Gavin Maxwell. This affair helped to inspire the works in The Year One 1952, which she released in 1952. Raine stayed frequently with Maxwell on the island of Sandaig in the Scottish Islands. The relationship ended in 1956 when Raine lost his pet otter, Mijbil, who inspired Maxwell's best-selling book Ring of Bright Water. She published a book of poems called Collected Poems that same year.
She began her autobiography 1973 and it was out in 1977. Four years later Raine had founded her own magazine, called Temenos, to help articulate her views. Raine went on to win several awards, including the Harriet Monroe Prize, Edna St. Vincent Millay Prize from the American Poetry Society, and the Queens Gold Medal for Poetry in 1992. In 2000, she was made a Commander of the British Empire.
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Kathleen Jessie Raine Poems
Yours is the face that the earth turns to me, Continuous beyond its human features lie The mountain forms that rest against the sky. With your eyes, the reflecting rainbow, the sun's light
Change Said the sun to the moon, You cannot stay.
In my first sleep I came to the river And looked down Through the clear water -
Wanting to know all I overlooked each particle Containing the whole Unknowable.
Reaching down arm-deep into bright water I gathered on white sand under waves Shells, drifted up on beaches where I alone Inhabit a finite world of years and days.
The End Of Love
Now he is dead How should I know My true love's arms From wind and snow?
Primrose, anemone, bluebell, moss Grow in the Kingdom of the Cross And the ash-tree's purple bud
God in me is the fury on the bare heath God in me shakes the interior kingdom of my heaven. God in me is the fire wherein I burn.
Where is the seed Of the tree felled, Of the forest burned, Or living root
From star to star, from sun and spring and leaf, And almost audible flowers whose sound is silence, And in the common meadows, springs the seed of life.
If you go deep Into the heart What do you find there? Fear, fear,
Night comes, an angel stands Measuring out the time of stars, Still are the winds, and still the hours.
I came too late to the hills: they were swept bare Winters before I was born of song and story, Of spell or speech with power of oracle or invocation,
The Ancient Speech
A Gaelic bard they praise who in fourteen adjectives Named the one indivisible soul of his glen; For what are the bens and the glens but manifold qualities, Immeasurable complexities of soul?
Day is the hero's shield,
The light days are the angels.
We the seed.
Against eternal light and gorgon's face
Day is the shield
And we the grass
Native to fields of iron, and skies of brass.