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John Clare was a poet, born and raised in the age of Romanticism.

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Introduction

In this poem, the subject of the poem is the poet himself. By what means does the poet convey his sense of self. Before starting the drawing any personal conclusion of the poem, I had to research into the poet himself. John Clare was a poet, born and raised in the age of Romanticism. His life was turbulent and full of hardship, a tale of woe and depression. He was a "peasants poet" and had various bouts of insanity, which led to him having several stays at an insane asylum. At one point, he believed he was Lord Byron and wrote several works. However, all these tragedies which had befallen him had not affected his intensity and passion, which he poured into his works. He shows many characteristics of a Romantics era poet, including intensity, a vivid imagination, extreme passion and naked emotionalism. The poem "I am" is, on the surface about himself, but when under closer scrutiny has many hidden depths. ...read more.

Middle

He is a tortured soul and the poet accentuates this by making the reading feel like all is lost for him, he has no hope, no future, no expectations. "My friends forsake me like a memory lost" As the reader, you feel sorry for him, an overwhelming sense of pity and compassion. He's lamenting his woes and we are empathetic towards his anguish. "I am the self-consumer of my woes" What increases our unease to his affliction, is his that he wishes to escape his torturous confines, to break free of his physical and mental woes and "sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept". To his dismay, he is chained to this world, to live out his silent pain and agony. "Into the living sea of waking dreams, Where there is neither sense of life or joys" However, "I am" is not just the rantings of a delusional mad-man, nor a demonically possessed fool. ...read more.

Conclusion

And yet, it is all this and so much more. In the final line, John Clare shows his final connection to inner peace and nature. "The grass below - above the vaulted sky" The enclosing walls of the asylum are no where to be seen, only open space and where John Clare wishes truly in his heart to find the peace and serenity he is so deeply missing. I believe that I people can connect to this poem, as it deals with the issue of depression. It is a widely known problem with many people and what John Clare describes is exactly the kind of pain some one who is depressed could experience. He is dealing with things people can relate to, nothing out of the ordinary or far fetched. His words are one of a mad suffering and we have all been through something like that (even if it is small) at least once in our lives, when the world seems like it has turned its back on you, and there is nothing left in your life but sorrow and pain. Jeremy Chang ...read more.

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