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. ‘Clare grabs hold of you – no, he doesn’t grab hold of you, he is already there, talking to you before you’ve arrived on the scene, telling you about himself, about the things that are closest and dearest to him, and it would no more occur to him to do otherwise than it would occur to Whitman to stop singing you his song of himself.’ John Ashbery’It is what Lawrence calls the poetry of the living present.’ Seamus Heaney
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