That Wondrous Pattern Essays on Poets and Poetry

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2017-04-11
  • Publisher: Counterpoint

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Kathleen Raine was one of the greatest British poets of the last century. Raised in a deeply literary and spiritual household, she went on to study at Cambridge where she met Jacob Bronowski, William Empson, and Malcolm Lowry. A dedicated Neoplatonist, she studied and presented the works of Thomas Taylor, and wrote seminal books on William Blake, including the monumental Blake and Tradition, and several highly praised books about W. B. Yeats. She was a co-founder of The Temenos Academy of Integral Studies, and its journal, Temenos, dedicated to "the sacred springs of life, which are the imagination and the heart".

For our new selection, That Wondrous Pattern: Essays on Poetry and Poets, Raine’s colleague and friend Brian Keeble offers sixteen essays that range from “The Inner Journey of the Poet” and “What is Man?” to essays on Blake, Wordsworth, Hopkins, Yeats, Eliot, and several others. The centerpiece, “What is the Use of Poetry?” is a rigorous defense of the great art. Keeble himself contributes a fascinating introduction to Raine’s work, and Wendell Berry, himself a colleague and friend of Kathleen Raine, offers a preface.

All who spend time in the presence of this wonderful writer will leave newly entranced with the art and use of the beautiful, and convinced that “it is only in moments when we transcend ourselves that we can know anything of value."

Author Biography

Born in Ilford, Essex in 1908, Kathleen Raine was raised by her father, a schoolmaster, and her Scottish mother, who shared her devotion to poetry with her only child. Author of more than thirty books, her honors and awards included the CBE and the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. Her books include Defending Ancient Springs, The Human Face of God, and her Collected Poems, published in 2000. She died in 2003 at the age of 95.

Brian Keeble is a British scholar, educator, editor, and author. His best known book is probably Art: For Whom and For What?, but he has more recently authored God and Work: Aspects of Art and Tradition (World Wisdom, 2009). Keeble is the founder of Golgonooza Press and co-founder of Temenos Academy. The latter is sponsored by The Prince's Foundation of HRH The Prince of Wales, and is a teaching organization dedicated to the same central idea that had inspired the earlier Temenos Review.

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