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