Upheld by being that I cannot know
In other form than stars and stones and trees
A British poet
, born in London in 1908, died 2003. She is characteristically a nature
poet, and one meditating on small things amid the great, and on spirituality
in the material world.
In rose with petals soft as air
I bind for you the tides and fire -
the death that lives within the flower,
oh, gladly love, for you I bear.
-- from Envoi
said of Raine's poetry: "Her poems are like drops of water, clear, self-contained
, and sometimes iridescent
with the elusive colours of mysticism
." Cyril Connolly
said: "A meditative
, intimate, feminine poet with a real gift... They are thoughtful poems, full of ideas and feeling for Nature."
Intent on one great love, perfect,
Requited and for ever,
I missed love's everywhere
Small presence, thousand-guised.
-- from Confessions
After education at Cambridge, her first collection was published in 1943, she had her first Collected Poems
in 1956, and she now has thirteen volumes of poetry
to her name, as well as four of autobiography. She died on 7 July 2003 at the age of ninety-five.
Strangers have crossed the sound, but not the sound of the dark oarsmen
Or the golden-haired sons of kings,
Strangers whose thought is not formed to the cadence of waves,
Rhythm of the sickle, oar and milking pail,
-- from The Ancient Speech
She was a respected critic of Blake
, and was also interested in Indian themes; these met in a wish for attitudes to the world other than what she saw as materialism
. She was one of the founders of the review Temenos
in 1980; in 1990 an artistic academy
was founded of the same name, and she became the editor of the Temenos Academy Review
. She won the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 1992.
She became a friend, and almost a lover, of the artist Gavin Maxwell. Her most famous line is so because he took it as the title of his famous work:
He has married me with a ring, a ring of bright water
Whose ripples spread from the heart of the sea,
He has married me with a ring of light, the glitter
Broadcast on the swift river.
-- from The Marriage of Psyche
www.skoob.com/seriph/raine.html - her recollection of meeting Gavin Maxwell
www.theosociety.org/pasadena/sunrise/48-98-9/ar-raine.htm - her opinions on Global Unity and the Arts
http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/classics/story/0,6000,105461,00.html - 1956 review by Philip Larkin of her Collected Poems
As far as I know, she is no relation to the almost equally famous English poet Craig Raine (b. 1944).
At the last leap I shrink
From fall of black sea-cliff and moiling water, wake
To find in gray of dawn vague leaves and roses break
In foam of that far sea.
On lip of petal, margin of leaf, that brink.
-- from On a Deserted Shore