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 La grande potesse anglaise Kathleen Raine, conseillre du CIRET, est morte dimanche 6 juillet 2003, lge de 95 ans, des suites dun accident. Son uvre a marqu le XXe sicle.

Le CIRET est fier davoir pu organiser, le 21 septembre 1999, en son honneur et en collaboration avec les Éditions du Rocher et la Maison de la Posie de Paris, une soire mmorable au Thtre Molire, avec la participation de Kathleen Raine, Peter Brook, Diane de Margerie, Claire Garnier-Tardieu, Christine Jordis, Marc Zammit et Basarab Nicolescu. La prsence si perceptible de Kathleen Raine nous a tous bloui.


Jai eu le privilge dditer son livre Le monde vivant de lImagination dans ma collection  Transdisciplinarit  aux Éditions du Rocher. À cette occasion, jai pu partager avec Kathleen Raine, dans son appartement de Londres ou lors de sa visite Paris, des moments inoubliables, qui resteront gravs pour toujours dans ma mmoire.

Basarab Nicolescu



Kathleen Raine, Scholar and Poet With Mystical Bent, Dies at 95


Wolfgang Saxon


Kathleen Raine, a mystically inclined British poet and a scholar of Yeats and Blake, died on Sunday in London. She was 95.


Less known in the United States than in Europe, where she was regarded as a grande dame of European letters, she published several books of poetry in America in addition to her scholarly works.

Starting in 1943, she published a considerable uvre of her own even as she became a celebrated interpreter of the mystical poet William Blake to the English-speaking world.

She was inspired at a very young age by the visionary elements of English romance literature, and her poetic work has a spiritual streak seeking to fuse reason and the ethereal, the knowable and faith. Her tastes were eclectic, including Jungian psychology and neo-Platonism.

She preferred to think, citing W.B. Yeats, that poetry and religion are the same thing. Over the years she attracted many admirers, including the Prince of Wales, who in 1990 gave his patronage to a school of wisdom that she founded, the Temenos Academy of Integral Studies.


Temenos, a teaching institution, preached a universalist theme, braiding the mystical strains of Buddhism and Hinduism with Judaism, Christianity and Islam, a considerable departure from her strict Methodist early upbringing. In 1999 she began the Temenos Academy Review, which publishes selected lectures along with articles and poetry.

Britains Royal Society of Literature in 1991 named her one of the 10 greatest living writers. She received the Queens Gold Medal for Poetry in 1992 and was honored as a Commander of the British Empire three years ago.

By then her reputation was firmly established well beyond Britain. Translations of her books on Yeats and Blake were read from Sweden to Spain. Her first volume of autobiography, Farewell Happy Fields, was published in 1973. In France the last two parts of her three-part autobiography, The Land Unknown (1975), and The Lions Mouth (1977), sold briskly as Le Royaume inconnu (1978), and La gueule du lion (1987), and she became a commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2000.

Kathleen Jessie Raine was born in Ilford, Essex. She studied natural sciences and psychology at Girton College, Cambridge, and graduated in 1929.

While many of her contemporaries drifted to the political left, she explored the mystique of Celtic history, magic and astronomy. She spent the war years in and out of London in various jobs.

She made her debut with Stone and Flower: Poems in 1943, followed by Living in Time. Her first book to appear in the United States was The Pythoness and Other Poems in 1952.

In 1956 she received an appointment as a fellow at Girton, where she taught and pursued her scholarly work.

She was briefly married to Hugh Sykes Davies, a critic and Cambridge don, who died in 1984. Her second marriage to Charles Madge, a poet and sociologist, also ended in divorce; he died in 1996. She is survived by a daughter, Anna Hopwell Madge; a son, James Madge; four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.


Kathleen Raines works currently listed in Books in Print are Blake and Antiquity (Routledge; 2nd ed., 2002); Collected Poems (Basic, 2001); India Seen Afar (Braziller, 1991); Inner Journey of the Poet (Braziller, 1982); Defending Ancient Springs (Anthropomorphic; repr., ed., 1985); GolgonoozaCity of Imagination: Last Studies of William Blake (Anthropomorphic, 1991); Presence: Poems 1984-1987 (Anthropomorphic, 1987); Selected Poems (Anthropomorphic, 1988); and William Blake (Thames Hudson, 1985).

*** *** ***

* Suheil Bushrui & Joe Jenkins, Kahlil Gibran, Man and Poet: A New Biography, Forward by Kathleen Raine, OneWorld, Oxford, 1998.



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