Clare was the son of a labourer and began work on local farms at the age of seven. Clare was an energetic autodidact, and his first verses were much influenced by the Scottish poet James Thomson. Early disappointment in love—for Mary Joyce, the daughter of a prosperous farmer—made a lasting impression on him. In his first book, Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery, was published and created a stir.
On its own, "eyes bite" is very disturbing.
His halting, hesitant, breathless style is immediately recognizable, and it presents writers with new ideas about meaning, purely through lineation. But many poets who break lines disregarding grammatical units do so only for visual irony, something that may be lost in performance.
What to do as a reader? Try a variety of methods. Reading a poem several ways allows you to see further into the poem simply through repetition. With poets who use techniques drawn from music—particularly jazz, such as Michael S. Harper or Yusef Komunyakaa —or poets like Walt Whitman who employ unusually long lines, there may be another guiding principle: Some poets think of their words as music flowing from a horn; they think of phrases the way a saxophonist might.
Poems composed in this way have varied line lengths but they have a musicality in their lineation and a naturalness to their performance. They may have a recognizable sense of measure, an equivalent duration between lines, or, for the sake of contrast, one rhythmic pattern or duration that gives way to successive variations.
For some poems, visual impact may also be important. In "shaped poetry," as well as many other types of writing that are meant to be seen as a painting might be seen, the line is determined by its placement in space.
Some visually oriented poets present real challenges in that the course of the poem may not be entirely clear. Visual choices presented by the poet may be confusing. Sometimes the arrangements of words on a page are intended to represent different voices in a dialogue, or even a more complex discourse on a subject.
Remember that the use of these techniques, in any combination, pushes the words of the poem beyond their literal meanings. If you find more in a poem than the words alone convey, then something larger is at work, making the poem more than the sum of its parts.
Starting the Conversation We mentioned earlier that encountering a difficult poem is like a game or sport, say rock climbing, that makes you work a bit.
The idea of finding handholds and footholds and ascending one bit at a time is apt. But some climbs are easier than others; some are very easy. You may enjoy an easy climb for a while, but you may also find that you want a bigger challenge.
Reading poetry works the same way, and, fortunately, poets leave trails to help you look for the way "up" a poem. The best way to discover and learn about a poem is through shared inquiry discussion.
Although your first experience of the poem may be private and personal, talking about the poem is a natural and important next step. Beginning with a focus question about the poem, the discussion addresses various possible answers to the question, reshaping and clarifying it along the way.
The discussion should remain grounded in the text as much as possible. Responses that move away from what is written into personal anecdotes or tangential leaps should be gently urged back into analyzing the text. The basis for shared inquiry is close reading. Good readers "dirty the text" with notes in the margins.
They make the inquiry their own. Talking Back to a Poem It would be convenient if there were a short list of universal questions, ones that could be used anytime with any poem.John Keats (–) abandoned a career in medicine to write poetry, until his life was cut tragically short from tuberculosis at the age of twenty-five.
By that time, he had published three volumes of verse to an unreceptive critical grupobittia.coms: 3. John Clare's cycle of twelve descriptive poems is written in various measures. Monthly Review: "To that numerous class of readers, the lovers of descriptive poetry, these .
John Clare wrote this poem in an institution, where he spent much of his adult life, until his death, suffering from mental illness.
Though his circumstances were extreme, many people are able to relate to the feeling of isolation, loneliness, and defiance captured in Clare’s poem. John Clare, (born July 13, , Helpston, near Peterborough, Northamptonshire, England—died May 20, , Northampton, Northamptonshire), English peasant poet of the Romantic school.
Clare was the son of a labourer and began work on local farms at the age of seven. John Clare was an English poet, the son of a farm labourer, who came to be known for his celebratory representations of the English countryside and his lamentation of its disruption.
Reading with John Clare argues that at the heart of contemporary biopolitical thinking is an insistent repression of poetry.
By returning to the moment at which biopolitics is said to emerge simultaneously with romanticism, this project renews our understanding of the operations of contemporary politics and its relation to aesthetics across two centuries.