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A simple PPT for Kathleen Raine's 'Passion' to assist in analysis of the poem for IGCSE Literature.

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  1. 1. Passion Kathleen Raine
  2. 2. Kathleen Raine 14 June 1908 – 6 July 2003 • Born in Ilford, Essex • Was a poet and critic • Influenced by Blake, W.B. Yeats and Thomas Taylor • Known for her interest in various forms of spirituality, notably Platonism & Neoplatonism • Mother was from Scotland, father was from County Durham
  3. 3. Poetic Inspiration • Raine spent part of World War I, 'a few short years', with her Aunty Peggy Black in Northumberland. • She commented, "I loved everything about it." • For her it was an idyllic world and is the declared foundation of all her poetry. • Raine always remembered Northumberland as Eden: "In Northumberland I knew myself in my own place; and I never 'adjusted' myself to any other or forgot what I had so briefly but clearly seen and understood and experienced." Affinity for Nature
  4. 4. Poetic Inspiration • Raine noted that poetry was deeply ingrained in the daily lives of her maternal ancestors: "On my mother's side I inherited Scotland's songs and ballads…sung or recited by my mother, aunts and grandmothers, who had learnt it from their mothers and grandmothers… Poetry was the very essence of life.“ • She heard and read the bible daily at home and at school, coming to know much of it by heart. • Her father had studied the poetry of Wordsworth for his M.Litt thesis and had a passion for Shakespeare and Raine saw many Shakespearean plays as a child. • She wrote that for her poetry was "not something invented but given…Brought up as I was in a household where poets were so regarded it naturally became my ambition to be a poet". • Her mother encouraged Raine's poetry from childhood.
  5. 5. Platonism • The theory that everything on earth, whether an object (such as a car) or an idea (such as justice), is actually an imperfect copy of an ideal and permanent “form” that exists somewhere, beyond our universe. This is known as the Theory of Forms. • The place where all these ideal forms exist is guided by a heavenly force that Plato believed should influence our behavior. (This notion shaped Christianity.) The ideal that was the most important to Plato was moral goodness, which he called “the good.” He believed that we should spend our lives trying to attain absolute goodness, even if we always fall short, because it is the path to happiness. • Plato believed that the ideal version of love is a meeting of the minds and doesn’t entail a physical aspect―hence the term “platonic relationship.” •
  6. 6. The plot thickens... • Raine married Hugh Sykes Davies in 1930. • She left Davies for Charles Madge and they had two children together, but their marriage also broke up. • She also held an unrequited passion for Gavin Maxwell. • The relationship with Maxwell ended in 1956 when Raine lost his pet otter, Mijbil, indirectly causing the animal's death. • Raine held herself responsible, not only for losing Mijbil but for a curse she had uttered shortly beforehand, frustrated by Maxwell's homosexuality: "Let Gavin suffer in this place as I am suffering now." • Raine blamed herself thereafter for all Maxwell's misfortunes, beginning with Mijbil's death and ending with the cancer which took his life in 1969.
  7. 7. Gavin Maxwell • A Scottish naturalist and author, best known for his work with otters. He wrote the book Ring of Bright Water (1960) about how he brought an otter back from Iraq and raised it in Scotland. • He took the otter to the London Zoological Society, where it was decided that this was a previously unknown sub- species of Smooth-coated Otter. It was named "Maxwell's Otter“ after him. • The otter became woven into the fabric of Maxwell's life. Kathleen Raine's relationship with Maxwell deteriorated after 1956 when she indirectly caused the death of Mijbil. • The title Ring of Bright Water was taken from a poem by Kathleen Raine, who said in her autobiography that Maxwell had been the love of her life.
  8. 8. What’s this poem about? • The poet feels sorrow and anguish at being forsaken by a loved one. • She longed for some communication but none was forthcoming. • While so tormented, she suddenly ‘hears’ the sky speaking to her about her real identity. • She was one with the universal spirit; the eternal mountains, the clouds and the oceans were part of her and the love she bore for them was more important than the unrequited love that was troubling her.  Kathleen Raine was in love with Gavin Maxwell who did not reciprocate her feelings. Unrequited Love & Connection with Nature
  9. 9. Passion Full of desire I lay, the sky wounding me, Each cloud a ship without me sailing, each tree Possessing what my soul lacked, tranquillity.
  10. 10. Waiting for the longed-for voice to speak Through the mute telephone, my body grew weak With the well-known and mortal death, heartbreak.
  11. 11. The language I knew best, my human speech Forsook my fingers, and out of reach Were Homer's ghosts, the savage conches of the beach.
  12. 12. Homer’s ghosts (ambiguous statement) • Ghosts appeared in Homer's Odyssey and Iliad, in which they were described as vanishing "as a vapor, gibbering and whining into the earth". Homer’s ghosts had little interaction with the world of the living. Perhaps her thoughts and words disappeared fleetingly into thin air as quickly as Homer’s ghosts – they were not tangible or solid
  13. 13. Conch shell May signify a coming change or turning point in the poem • Often used as wind instruments • Important ritual object in Hinduism. Indian warriors also blew them to announce going into battle, or to ward off evil spirits. • The conch shell also features in William Golding’s The Lord of the Flies, where it is blown to call meetings, and symbolizes democracy and order.
  14. 14. Then the sky spoke to me in language clear, Familiar as the heart, than love more near. The sky said to my soul, `You have what you desire.
  15. 15. `Know now that you are born along with these Clouds, winds, and stars, and ever-moving seas And forest dwellers. This your nature is. Lift up your heart again without fear, Sleep in the tomb, or breathe the living air, This world you with the flower and with the tiger share.'
  16. 16. Then I saw every visible substance turn Into immortal, every cell new born Burned with the holy fire of passion. This world I saw as on her judgment day When the war ends, and the sky rolls away, And all is light, love and eternity.
  17. 17. Overall impression • ‘Passion’ is in keeping with Kathleen Raine’s philosophical leanings. • She was a mystic poet who believed that everything on earth was connected and that the universal breath was in all of us. • She tried to remain connected with nature and abhorred modernity in all forms. She was more impressed by Eastern philosophy rather than the Western way of thinking. • In this poem too she talks of the peace she finds when she realizes that she is one with nature. Nature should not be viewed as a separate entity and nature will never forsake those who love her.
  18. 18. Essay question • Examine the ways in which the poet depicts her search for meaning after despair in the poem Passion. OR: • Explore how Kathleen Raine’s poem powerfully begins with reality and ends with the sublime.

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  • TasunungurwaMatinhir

    Feb. 3, 2017
  • DebbieTran7

    Feb. 4, 2018

A simple PPT for Kathleen Raine's 'Passion' to assist in analysis of the poem for IGCSE Literature.


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