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This interview is taken from PN Review 136, Volume 27 Number 2, November - December 2000.

in conversation with Kathleen Raine Grevel Lindop

Kathleen Raine was awarded the CBE for services to literature in this year's New Year's Honours. Her definitive Collected Poems, the third and by far the largest of her collected volumes, was published by Golgonooza in October 2000, four months after her ninety-second birthday. This conversation took place on 6 July at Dr Raine's home in Chelsea.

GREVEL LINDOP: Dr Raine, your Collected Poems are now in the press and will be coming out in October. What are your feelings about having your lifetime's poetic work collected?

KATHLEEN RAINE: I feel, looking back on it, as if it's someone else's work. I don't feel at all identified with my work any more. Some of it is better than I remembered and some I wonder why I ever published at all. But I don't feel any sense of being particularly interested in the fact that my work is now being published. But Brian [Keeble, Director of Golgonooza] is very anxious to do it and I see his point I think that it's I who should make decisions about what it to be included while I'm here rather than waiting till I'm not here any more, which might happen very soon at my great age! I won't say exactly that I've enjoyed doing it but there have been some rather agreeable surprises to find that here and there are one or two poems that I feel are better than I could have written without ...


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