Kathleen Raine (1908-2003) was a poet of the natural world, the soul’s experience and the mystery of life; a literary critic, who in her major work Blake and Tradition added enormously to our knowledge of the sources that inspired William Blake’s unique writings. In her studies of Coleridge, Shelley, Yeats and her own contemporaries – David Gascoyne, Edwin Muir and Vernon Watkins – she wrote with the understanding of a fellow poet in a shared tradition. Kathleen Raine gave a moving and poetic account of her own fascinating life in the three volumes Farewell Happy Fields, The Land Unknown and The Lion’s Mouth.
She was also an educator of great vision who, at the age of 82 dedicated the rest of her life to establishing Temenos – an Academy for education in the light of the Spirit.
Kathleen Raine received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Leicester, Durham and Caen. She was a recipient of the Queen’s Medal for Poetry. In 2000 she was made Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and was in the same year appointed CBE for distinguished services to literature.
For more information about Dr Raine the best online source is the entry by Christopher Fletcher in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography which can be found here.
[Photo credit: Pamela Chandler; Copyright: Diana Willson]
‘Our purpose is to study the learning of the Imagination, both in the arts but also in such metaphysical teachings as are likewise the expression of traditional spiritual knowledge.’