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John Clare: Poet of Nature and Personal Life.

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John Clare: Poet of Nature and Personal Life John Clare was born in 1793 and died at the age of seventy-one in 1864. Clare came from a poor background and left school at the age of twelve to become a farm labourer. He had many jobs in the earlier years of his life as a Potboy, a Ploughboy and a Gardener. When he was about fifteen, Clare fell in love with a woman named Mary Joyce; but her family would not allow them to marry due to his poverty. This upset him, but he later married Martha Turner, he was still very unhappy. In 1837 Clare was admitted to High Beach Asylum in Epping, suffering from delusions. Meanwhile, Mary Joyce died unmarried. In 1841 Clare escaped High Beach and went to live with gypsies. Finally in December 1841, John Clare was committed to St Andrews Asylum in Northampton and remained there for his last 23 years. On the 20th May 1864, John Clare died at Northampton. In 1820 Clare started to write poems that were descriptive of rural life and scenery. In 1827 he wrote "The Shepards Calendar" with village stories and other poems. Later in 1835 Clare wrote "The Rural Muse". His first book was successful and was fashionable in London Society for only a short time. ...read more.


To the end of the second stanza, he starts to list the things he sees floating down in the flood. He then talks about all these monsters that he sees in the flood as he is standing on the bridge: "Like water monsters lost each winds and trails" His use of monsters could be because there are monsters inside his head, making him consider life and death. Whatever is disturbing him and giving him this lonely and wild mood is like monsters inside his head. Clare compares a lot of the debris in the water to people and monsters. Towards the end of the poem there is still more detail on what the flood is doing, but unlike the other lines, the last two lines are rhyming couplets to show you that it is the end of the poem. The last line indicates that he wants to move on in life, as shown in the way he uses the word eternity. The next poem is a song and is called "I hid my love". The poems are getting more about himself than nature. This poem is not arranged in sonnets and has rhyming couplets but no iambic pentameter. The poem is about his feelings for a woman, perhaps Mary Joyce. ...read more.


The themes that Clare uses are not limited. He writes about many things, mainly to do with nature and personal life, but the subjects of his poems, are still very varied. I don't think that Clare really has a message for his readers, especially not in the poems that I have studied. The development of his poems though is interesting because he starts off by writing about badgers and mice and then he goes on to these in-depth poems about his life. This is interesting in the way that, as his life progressed, it started to collapse around him and as his poems got more descriptive about his life he started to go mental. I personally like John Clare's poetry. At first, when reading the nature poems like "The Badger" I thought they were a bit lame and ineffective, but since studying them, I have grown to like them. My favourite poem that I have studied has to be "I am". This poem is so very meaningful and rich in texture as it were. The poem has so much power and it is very understanding. You could relate to the poem very easily. The meaning of John Clare's work today is that he depicted a life as it was at the time and wrote about it but there are certain things that remain unchanged today. For example, country life which to this day has changed very little. 1 1 ...read more.

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