Craig Raine


Craig Raine (born 3 December 1944) is an English poet and critic. He has been credited with originating Martianism, a movement named after his poem "A Martian Sends a Postcard Home".


  • Caxtons are mechanical birds with many wings
    And some are treasured for their markings –
    They cause the eyes to melt
    Or the body to shriek without pain.
    • "A Martian Sends a Postcard Home", line 1; first published in The New Statesman, December 23 and 30, 1977.
  • In homes, a haunted apparatus sleeps,
    That snores when you pick it up.
    If the ghost cries, they carry it
    To their lips and soothe it to sleep
    With sounds. And yet, they wake it up
    Deliberately, by tickling with a finger.
    • "A Martian Sends a Postcard Home", line 19.
  • The task of the artist at any time is uncompromisingly simple – to discover what has not yet been done, and to do it.
  • Great writers arrive among us like new diseases – threatening, powerful, impatient for patients to pick up their virus, irresistible.
  • I used to carry a copy of Ulysses with me everywhere just in case I was knocked down by a bus. It seemed more important than having clean underwear.

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