Tag Archive | john clare

Some quotes

I read some of John Clare’s letters and opinions.

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He too, then, obviously, would express such sentiments. Somehow it hadn’t solidified in my mind. Also, butter flye struck me as a very charming way of spelling. But what truly made me chuckle is this little narrative:

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I think that’s terribly sweet! I think everyone should be entitled to a silly way of seeing the world if it harms no one. Yes, there is no play called “Shakespeare”, but if you’ve only seen one, it might as well be called Shakespeare. And yes, turncoats, no one should change their opinion if it’s such an endearing one, and especially not if its explained by such a deliciously silly principle that defies all everyday logic. It reminds me of my favourite scene in cinematic history – Kaspar Hauser rolling apples and arguing with the priest about whether the apple has a soul and will of its own or whether the apple goes where Kaspar wants it to go, thus having no will or soul. Of course I was cheering for Kaspar’s interpretation and booing the priest’s lack of imagination.

It is some strange kind of whimsicality of mine, which I remember being possessed of even at the age of 7 when I cheered my little sister on in silly behaviour, but that kind of alternative takes – that strike at the roots of common sense and acceptable thinking – I truly adore them. No exaggeration. They make my eyes glow with pleasure every time.

Poetry

The world that comes off from the poetry of John Clare is so wholesome and inviting. I want that world to be mine one of those days. And even if I cannot write in words, because written poetry is really not my forte, I can experience the poetry of things and learn the names and ways of various birds and plants and trees. I can live in that world instead of reading about it and sighing and pretending the little forest grove and meadow near my ugly house is countryside. Well, I suppose it kind of is countryside, but regardless. I want to see that:

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……when I look out of the window.

And this poem is ever so pretty:

All nature has a feeling: woods, fields, brooks
Are life eternal: and in silence they
Speak happiness beyond the reach of books;
There’s nothing mortal in them; their decay
Is the green life of change; to pass away
And come again in blooms revivified.
Its birth was heaven, eternal it its stay,
And with the sun and moon shall still abide
Beneath their day and night and heaven wide.

Having grown up lived on poetry like this and nothing modern, the challenge of writing contemporary nature poetry has a strange appeal. But.