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Selected Poetry of John Clare

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  183 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
This is the first selection of the great Romantic 'peasant poet' John Clare to make available the full range of his accomplishment - as the chronicler of nature and childhood, the champion of folkways in the face of enclosure and oppression, the love poet, the political satirist and solitary visionary, confined in his maturity to lunatic asylums.
Paperback, 318 pages
Published October 7th 2004 by Faber & Faber (first published 1965)
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Bookworm Sean
John Clare wrote some wonderful poems, but he also wrote some terribly basic ones. If you compare him to the other canonical poets of British Romanticism, then he can easily be criticised. He didn’t have the flair of Byron or such control over sensuous imagery like Wordsworth and Shelley; he didn’t have the imagination of Coleridge or the stylistic qualities of Keats. He didn’t even have the lyricism of Blake. But what he did have was persistence, and a real awareness of himself and his surround ...more
Jude Brigley
Dec 17, 2013 Jude Brigley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have been reading Clare's poems throughout the year and reminding myself how much I like them.
'The girning winds bit sharp and thin
And made the early riser blow his nails,
and crizzling frost shot needles in the dyke
and crumpt beneath the feet down grassy vales.'

I love 'crizzling', 'crumpt' and 'girning'.
Brandon
Nov 16, 2007 Brandon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this almost straight through as soon as I purchased it. This is the true country voice of the English Romantics...Wordsworth wished he could draw on the enormous rural knowledge that John Clare possessed. I can return to this time and time again.
John
Jul 01, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I savoured reading this – I can never read poetry quickly.

Geoffrey Summerfield's selection and notes and faithful reproduction of the poems enhanced the experience. The selection covers all poetically active periods of Clare's life, including his long incarceration in the asylum at Northampton where he died. His “mad” period included a number of poems where he assumed the Byronic persona. Some are very graphic in content and must have done wonders for Victorian sensibilities! Many poems are devo
...more
Sarah
Mar 16, 2014 Sarah marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-must-to-read
I cant wait for this book, I am in love with John Clare and his deep relationship with nature, Ive knew him by coincidence from reading some poems in a classic poetry book.
Shannon
Jun 05, 2015 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(This is my first review, so pardon me if it's utter crap)

I read this for my English literature coursework and I have to say that I was quite impressed by it. The biography by Summerfield is succinct but eloquently informative, offering a perfectly summarised background of John Clare and a detailed analysis of his work. Following this brief but helpful biography is a selection of poetry that resonates very deeply for me. Known as "The Peasant Poet", Clare is nothing but a visionary as he imbues
...more
Nimue Brown
Jul 15, 2015 Nimue Brown rated it really liked it
A broad selection of poems, some prose writing, a brief biography and a very good and useful introduction. As a place to start reading Clare, it's worked well for me, I can certainly recommend it. I'm not in the habit of reading entire poetry books beginning to end, but the presence of longer works, and the overall flow of the collection coupled with the very readable nature of the poetry made it possible to read this much as I would a prose text.

Clare is a fascinating poet in terms of his rela
...more
Ruth
Jul 06, 2015 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a complete townie, I have very little in common with John Clare, who sought the "quiet joys" of rural life and took his inspiration from nature - "I found the poems in the fields, and only wrote them down." However, I really enjoyed his work and found much of it quite moving. His life was touched by some form of depression and his work is often melancholy, but his delight in the landscape, flora and fauna is touching.
matilda
Apr 03, 2014 matilda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of poetry and John Clare is by far one of my favourite poets. This book contains most of his best sonnets and poems and includes a small timeline of his life.
My only criticism is that it does not contain all of his poems however it was perfect for when I had a little spare time to pick up a poetry book and enjoying a poem or two.
Suzammah
There are only so many sonnets about different British birds I can appreciate. He had a great poem about a badger getting revenge on some nasty country folk though, that was fun. Of course, when he's being a thoroughly miserable bastard and writing about inner turmoil rather than a lesser spotted sparrow, he's one of the best.
Jake
Jul 06, 2010 Jake rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Collection of poems I studied for my AS English Lit, some poems are truly brilliant (I Am, To John Clare, some of the nature ones) however some are just plain boring. He needed an editor, for example 'The Parish' could be three pages shorter and much better.
John
Oct 22, 2013 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can you say if you like poetry you just have to love John Clare I particularly like the poems to Mary ( Romantic In me I guess ) When i first read this copy, the words I sleep with you I wake with you and yet you are not there, just kept going through my mind over and over.
Jenni
Jul 27, 2007 Jenni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poets
The most ignored of the romantics and ten times better than Wordsworth (gag).
James Bruce
Aug 30, 2015 James Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A true romantic poet, based on the ideals of Coleridge and Wordsworth.
Warren
Jan 07, 2017 Warren rated it it was amazing
"I am: yet what I am none cares or knows,
My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
I am the self-consumer of my woes,
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shades in love and death's oblivion lost;
And yet I am! and live with shadows tost

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life's esteems;
And e'en the dearest--that I loved the best--
Are strange--nay, rather stranger than the rest
...more
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John Clare was an English poet, in his time commonly known as "the Northamptonshire Peasant Poet", born the son of a farm labourer at Helpston (which, at the time of his birth, was in the Soke of Peterborough, which itself was part of Northamptonshire) near Peterborough. His poetry underwent a major re-evaluation in the late 20th century and he is often now considered to be one of the most importa ...more
More about John Clare...

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