Saturday, May 28, 2011

John Clare's "Sonnet"


I love to see the summer beaming forth

And white wool sack clouds sailing to the north

I love to see the wild flowers come again

And mare blobs stain with gold the meadow drain

And water lillies whiten on the floods

Where reed clumps rustle like a wind shook wood

Where from her hiding place the Moor Hen pushes

And seeks her flag nest floating in bull rushes

I like the willow leaning half way o’er

The clear deep lake to stand upon its shore

I love the hay grass when the flower head swings

To summer winds and insects happy wings

That sport about the meadow the bright day

And see bright beetles in the clear lake play

John Clare, 1841.

John Clare (1793-1864) was born in the Northamptonshire village of Helpston and attended school there until he was around eleven years old, following which he was largely self-taught. Clare’s first book of poetry: Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (1820), was very well-received, and his work was extremely popular with the public. In the 1830s, however, his popularity faded; a problem his publishers tried to correct by standardizing his verses into what they considered to be more contemporary poetic conventions. Clare wrote this Sonnet in 1841, the year before he was confined in the Northampton County Asylum where he spent the rest of his days.

Another Sonnet, for all of you. Can you tell I love Sonnets? Especially one about the summertime which is finally coming around. What do you all think of this work?

by A.M. Trumble

A Collection of John Clare's poems


  1. Wow, Amy, thanks for the introduction to this poet. I love his summer sonnet!

  2. This is very "sonorous (in the sense of voice)," flows gently, evenly and lends healing to ones day.

  3. I like this too and I often do not like sonnets that much. There is such a gentleness to this. I wonder why he was confined in the asylum for the rest of his days (which was more than 20 years).

  4. ...amazing..sweetly flowing poetic rhymes...hmmmm

  5. I love this, it lends a sweet flow, kind of melodic~
    Really lovely; so glad you shared!


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