Analysis of I Am, by John Clare

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Analysis of I Am, by John Clare

        The poem ‘I Am’ by John Clare is written in the form ABABCC, except for the first verse, which is ABABAB and it is written in iambic pentameter. The structure of the three stanzas seems to be based on time, the first stanza is what is happening, he is ‘live’ the second is what is about to happen, what he is going ‘into’ and the third is what he thinks or wants to happen, what “I long for”.  There is a great use of punctuation, yet there are only two sentences, making the poem seem continuous, troubled and searching and without definite closure.  The title of the poem is repeated four times in the first verse, but then it is not written again at all.  In fact, after the first stanza, there are only five references to the writer.  This suggests that the fist stanza is the most personal the one that is based most strongly on the writer.  The ‘I’ from the poem is reflecting on his past, his life, and what is going on around him, what his life has become.  

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The stanza seems to have a lost air, a feeling of being forgotten and unwanted, “My friends forsake me like a memory lost”.  Love is mentioned, but it is the throes of love, so John Clare does not still seem to be in love, but in the shadows of love.  The use of the phrase ‘self-consumer of my woes’ is a very interesting one, as means that the pain that the writer is inflicted with is brought upon by himself, and being a consumer, ha knows what he is doing.  But yet he does not seem happy, he is ...

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This is a very concise and well written analysis that looks at the poet's use of language, structure and form. Relevant quotes from the text are used to support interesting interpretations. 5 Stars