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Kathleen Raine (Kathleen Jessie Raine) Biography

(1908–2003), (Kathleen Jessie Raine), Poetry London, Stone and Flower, The Pythoness, The Year One

British poet and critic, born in London; much of her childhood was spent in Northumberland. She was educated at Girton College, Cambridge, where she became a research fellow in 1955. She was the first wife of the poet and sociologist Charles Madge. Her poems were featured in Poetry London, which published her first collection entitled Stone and Flower, illustrated by Barbara Hepworth, in 1943. Numerous later volumes of her verse have included The Pythoness (1949), The Year One (1952), The Hollow Hill (1965), and The Oracle in the Heart (1980). Collected Poems (1981) was followed by a new selected edition in 1988. Raine's early poetry was marked by the lyrical effectiveness and precision of its botanical and geological imagery. A neoplatonic mysticism pervades much of her work and provides a basis for her outspoken denunciations of modern cultural materialism. In many poems, notably those concerned with her sense of exile from her Northumbrian landscapes of childhood, visionary elements are held in balance with attractively particularized local observation. Among her extensive critical writings, which exhibit a sustained concern with her quasi-religious view of poetry, are Blake and Tradition (1969, 2 volumes), an exhaustive analysis of Blake's symbolism, and the collections of essays Defending Ancient Springs (1967) and The Inner Journey of the Poet (1976). Farewell Happy Fields (1973), The Land Unknown (1975), and The Lion's Mouth (1977) are autobiographical.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: David Rabe Biography to Rhinoceros (Rhinocéros)