Poem for April


I see all, am all, all.
I leap along the line of the horizon hill,
I am a cloud in the high sky,
I trace the veins of intricate fern,
In the dark ivy wall the wren’s world
Soft to bird breast eggs of round nest is mine,
Mine in the rowan-tree the blackbird’s thought
Inviolate in leaves ensphered.
I am bird-world, leaf-life, I am wasp-world hung
Under low berry-branch of hidden thorn,
Friable paper-world humming with hate,
Moss-thought, rain-thought, stone still thought on the hill.

Never, never, never will I go home to be a child.

Kathleen Raine (1908 – 2003)

A life-affirming poem whose power stems from a refusal. A poem of new beginnings woven with shadows and a steely determination.


Published in Poetry magazine, Volume 97, Number 5, 1961

Portrait of Kathleen Raine by Victoria Crow National Galleries website