About the poet
Kathleen Raine (1908-2003) was the author of twelve books of poetry, four of autobiography, and...
Ah, many, many, are the dead. . .
Ah, many, many are the dead
Who hold this pen and with my fingers write:
What am I but their memory
Whose afterlife I live, who haunt
My waking and my sleep with the untold?
My sight with the clouds'
Unimpeded rest in changing moves
Across the sky: the aged in endless
Unbecoming are at peace.
I could have told much by the way
But having reached this quiet place can say
Only that old joy and pain mean less
Than these green garden buds
The wind stirs gently.
In the high lonely hills
Long ago astray: why
Did the great merciless winds
Fill my heart with joy?
What have I to regret
Who, being old,
Have forgotten who I am?
I have known much in my time
But now behold
Procession of slow clouds across my sky.
This little house
No smaller than the world
Nor I lonely
Dwelling in all that is.
Young or old
What was I but the story told
By an unageing one?
From Collected Poems of Kathleen Raine (Golgonooza Press, 2000), copyright © Kathleen Raine 2000 used by permission of the publisher
Kathleen Raine Reading from her Poems