I must have read many books in the past five years


The Time Traveller's Wife, for example - even tho it was published in 2003, I'm not sure if I read it straight away; The Vintner's Luck - 2000; The Five People You Meet In Heaven - 2003; The Lovely Bones - 2002; Astonishing Splashes of Colour (2004) and Flights of the Human Mind (2006); She's Come Undone - as far back as 1992 and I Know This Much Is True (1998); to name but barely a few. . .


I've reread lots of work by Gabriel García Márquez, Milan Kundera, Bruce Chatwin and have found new authors such as Nicole Krauss (The History of Love) and Stefan Merrill Block (The Story of Forgetting)


(and I've lived thru - despite my best attempts - many changes in my life, and altho I started writing my "book" when I was happy, in 2004, perhaps I am now back on a more even keel than I was in 2005. . .)


(yesterday I looked thru the words that I had been beginning to assemble - it was like remembering baby photos but seeing an adolescent)

back in 2004 I was only just beginning my love affair with Hepworth altho I was already engrossed in the artists of The Newlyn School; I'd seen many works by Andy Goldsworthy and Richard Long, but was only just becoming familiar with that of Antony Gormley - hadn't heard of Richard Serra

I hadn't seen an illustration by John Minton, didn't know the wonder that is the art work of Rob Ryan, was still to come across the words of Carol Ann Duffy, but I was already in love with the poetry of Kathleen Raine, for I had owned a book of hers since 1983. . .
however it wasn't until 2007 that I was to come across the following:

Reaching down arm-deep into bright water
I gathered on white sand under waves
Shells, drifted up on beaches where I alone
Inhabit a finite world of years and days.
I reached my arm down a myriad years
To gather treasure from the yester-milliennial sea-floor,
Held in my fingers forms shaped on the day of creation.

Building their beauty in three dimensions
Over which the world recedes away from us,
And in the fourth, that takes away ourselves
From moment to moment and from year to year
From first to last they remain in their continuous present.
The helix revolves like a timeless thought,
Instantaneous from apex to rim
Like a dance whose figure is limpet or murex, cowrie or golden winkle.

They sleep on the ocean floor like humming-tops
Whose music is the mother-of-pearl octave of the rainbow,
Harmonious shells that whisper forever in our ears,
The world that you inhabit has not yet been created.

Kathleen Raine

(rereading the prologue of my "book" reminds me of the above, possibly my favourite piece by Raine. . . and yet I'd written my prologue before I'd read her poem)(remember this)


Dave said...

Of course, meeting me for the first time must have changed your perspectives.

I, Like The View said...

what was I saying the other day about you being the exception to the rule. . .

. . .will, in this case, that doesn't apply

meeting you was



Mel said...

What's not to love about that last line?

And I think I'm good with Goldworthy. Makes me wanna gather all the rocks gathered (if that makes sense) and make something (which wouldn't be AS lovely as the white and greay--but just as fun I'm thinkin'...)

What were talking about again? LOL
Oh and puppies!

And yep--definitely more coffee!

I, Like The View said...

"the world that you inhabit has not yet been created"

pure beauty

Andy G's work is great, eh!


<--- has coffee and four cats keeping her company

Christopher said...

Very pleased to see this exquisite poem of K. Raine's, one which (I think, but I'm not certain) she wrote in that outpouring of fine verse that accompanied her settling down - as far as that was possible for her - in Chelsea, where she was looked after to some extent by my cousin Elizabeth Ramsden, who married - much against the family's will - the artist Cecil Collins. I wonder how much this poem owes to her various stays at Sandaig with Gavin Maxwell?

I, Like The View said...

Christopher the flames of my interest in Hepworth were partly fanned by seeing a book of Raine's (for which Hepworth had contributed illustrations) in the Hepworth museum at St Ives

I was convinced it was the same as one I'd had on my bookshelf for many many years: On A Deserted Shore (which has an illustration by Maxwell), published in 1973. . .

. . .which comprises a sequence of poems, number 55 of which reads:

From Sandaig shore
Held in a shell
As God worlds
In the palm of his hand :
These our treasure,
Sea life's toil,
Seed more rare
Than barren sand

it turns out that the book in the Hepworth museum was Stone And Flower, which contains poems from 1938-43 and was first published in 1943

thus, I assume my book - which has a poem at the start dated 7 September 1969 (the date of Maxwell's death) - has poems which follow later on from a later period of her life

as for Shells, Philip Larkin reviewed one of her books (Collected Poems) in 1956, and the poem is referred to in his review - she had already met Maxwell by then but he hadn't yet moved to Sandaig - so who knows in answer to your question!

I, Like The View said...

(ps after I won a minor prize in the bookbinding competition, I was invited to enter items for an exhibition in a Notting Hill gallery - I decided on the two Raine books I'd fallen in love with, tracked down first editions and rebound them, using ideas from Hepworth's sculptures as design inspiration. . .)

I, Like The View said...

(and also illustrations by Blake, as Raine admired his work)

katherine. said...

<--- has some reading to do.

I love the Raine's poem you posted.

and again...the comments are so interesting.

I, Like The View said...

a lot of her poems are beautifully unusual and yet instantly meaningful

in sad way

but more gentle than bittersweet, if you see what I mean

I don't know if you like poetry, but if you do hers is work worth reading

(blogging is fascinating, eh!)

when I was tracking down the first editions of the two Raine books for rebinding, I found one of each that, according to the adverts, were actually signed by Raine. . . I phoned both antiquarian bookstores straight away - and the seller of Stone And Flower told me, in amazement and disbelief, that his signed copy had been sold about half an hour before

I was gob-smacked!

I, Like The View said...

Christopher - I've done a little more reading about, and turned up this:

". . .an affair with a gay writer named Gavin Maxwell. This affair helped to inspire the works in The Year One 1952, which she released in 1952. Raine stayed frequently with Maxwell on the island of Sandaig in the Scottish Islands. The relationship ended in 1956. . . She published a book of poems called Collected Poems that same year.

so, quite clearly she had been to Sandaig before 1956


mig said...

Such fascinating connections.
I had no idea Gavin Maxwell was homosexual. Suddenly a whole lot of stuff in his books makes sense.
And I'd forgotten the connection between him and Kathleen Raine (which I think you mentioned once before)
What an extraordinary woman.
And wonderful poetry too.
I like "whose music is the mother of pearl octave of the rainbow"

mig said...

here's something you might like - scroll down to the movie.

I, Like The View said...

ooooh! I love it!! thank you!!!


(I think I was probably going on about Hepworth/Raine/Maxwell in early 2007, when I was working on the Notting Hil thing, before everything else went horribly wrong!)(you've got a good memory!)

Mel said...

Oh--the places we've been.

Yeah, not Raine's...Seuss.

But you know what I mean.

And I'm a bit crabby my comment from yesterday evening was swallowed up by the Moof Monster.
k....probably means I failed to do something--like log in maybe. LOL

I, Like The View said...

I'm crabby your thoughts aren't here