Brian Keeble


That Wondrous Pattern

Essays on Poetry and Poets

“There is no exaggeration in pointing out that these essays are addressed to the soul of the reader. They are not academic exercises in erudition as a contribution to ‘Eng. Lit.’” —from the introduction by Brian Keeble

Kathleen Raine was one of the greatest British poets of the last century. Born to 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. With Keith Critchlow, Brian Keeble, and Philip Sherrard, she founded, in 1981, the Temenos Academy of Integral Studies, its journal Temenos, and, later, the Temenos Academy Review. HRH The Prince of Wales became the patron of the academy in 1997.

For our new selection, That Wondrous Pattern, Raine 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. Editor Brian Keeble himself contributes a fascinating introduction to Raine’s work, and Wendell Berry, a colleague and friend of hers, 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, convinced that “it is only in moments when we transcend ourselves that we can know anything of value.