A Poem for Kathleen Raine

by Margaret Williams


KALI YUGA
for Kathleen Raine

Ten years ago I spent a rainy afternoon
in Kathleen's Chelsea flat drinking tea and
pondering the mysteries of Blake and Yeats,
discussing time that spirals down in
deepening cycles of degeneration,
and the Hindu naming of this Age of Iron
in which a Golden Age is only a lost idea:
I wondered what the future would bring.
"Angels," she said.

Here in this quake-haunted seacoast city,
my life as changed from then to now
as Golden Age to Age of Iron, I ponder
new mysteries: a life that runs from 9:00
to 5:00 and starts again the next day,
a newer, faster spiral, going down
and down and down again tomorrow,
and I wonder what is the Hindu name
for Age of Dust, and if there will be
angels.

MW
June 1995

Margaret Williams studied Yeats at CSUN several years ago. This poem resulted from a visit she paid Kathleen Raine in Ireland in 1995. In a recent letter, Margaret added this tidbit: "Kathleen went to India and did the whole searching for truth thing like any other teenaged hippie...only she's 75 if she's a day, dear girl. What a kidder."


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