Kathleen Raine: The Less Received

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For almost three quarters of a century that so often talked about culture and politics in faddish and fashionable literature, Blake’s secretary-as Kathleen Raine referred to herself-instinctively and insistently spoke to “none” in the hope of being heard ultimately by “all”. In affirming experience and vision as sacred, Raine often situated herself among the fine details of the non-human world. Raine was regarded with a blend of condescension and fondness that her more august contemporaries seemed to have reserved especially for their beautiful, talented, misguided, and irretrievably unserious female acquaintance. W. H. Auden’s reason for writing poetry was to focus readers’ attention on society’s need for improvement. Raine can be counted among the few who found what they were looking for-an explanation of personal unhappiness in the twentieth century- in the work of the French metaphysician Rene Guenon. Philip Larkin was one of the few post-war, putty-faced Britons of consequence to focus seriously on Raine’s poetry.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication A Companion to Literary Evaluation
EditorsRichard Bradford, Madelena Gonzalez, Kevin De Ornellas
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781119409908
ISBN (Print)978-1-119-40985-4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 22 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Kathleen Raine
  • culture
  • literature
  • poetry
  • politics


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