18 May 2017

Poetry Thursday - The Trees in Tubs by Kathleen Raine

The Trees in Tubs

Little laurel trees, your roots can find
No mountain, yet your leaves extend
Beyond your own world, into mine
Perennial wands, unfolding in my thought
The budding evergreen of time.

          (from Collected Poems, 1956)

Kathleen Raine (1908-2003) "was a poet who believed in the sacred nature of all life, all true art and wisdom, and her own calling. She knew as a small child that poetry was her vocation.
William Blake was her master, and she shared his belief that "one power alone makes a poet - imagination, the divine vision". As WB Yeats, her other great exemplar, put it, "poetry and religion are the same thing". To this vision she committed not only her poetry and erudition, but her whole life. She stood as a witness to spiritual values in a society that rejected them." said one obituary.

"She had high-minded tastes, among them for such disciplines as neo-Platonism and Jungian psychology, and lamented what she described as the materialistic sensibility of the modern public.", said another.

Her first book of poems, Stone And Flower, was published in 1943, with illustrations by Barbara Hepworth.

I found "The Trees in Tubs" in this book, published in 1989 -
The book has been with me a long time - since May 1996, according to my annotation of when it was bought. It travelled to Canada one year, intended but not given as a gift. I'm glad to have it still. 

No comments: