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Image by uppa.co.uk

Ah, many, many, are the dead. . .

Kathleen Raine


Ah, many, many, are the dead. . .

Kathleen Raine


Poem introduction

These are a series of short poems.

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

Recordings

Kathleen Raine Reading from her Poems

1Self

2Angelus

3The World

4Amo Ergo Sum

5Who stands at my door...

6Rock

7The Moment

8Your gift to me was a gray stone...

9Lachesis

10Highland Graveyard

11The Island Cross

12The Wilderness

13Statues

14Old Paintings on Italian Walls

15Triad

16Daisies of Florence

17The Eternal Child

18Scala Coeli

19A Painting by Winifred Nicholson

20By The River Eden

21The Poet Answers the Accuser

22Afternoon sunlight plays...

23Bright cloud...

24Into what pattern...

25Behind the Lids of Sleep

26Returning from Church

27Ah, many, many are the dead...

28A small matter...

29World's Music Changes

30Change

31Who Are We?

32Memory of Sarnath

33Head of Parvati

34Poppy-Flower

35Your Gift Of Life was Idleness

36The Leaf

37Heirloom

38Long ago I thought you young...

39Secret companion...

40Millennial Hymn to Lord Shiva