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Northborough Sonnets

John Clare

Edited by Eric Robinson

John Clare, Northborough Sonnets (cover)
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Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857541 98 4
Categories: 19th Century
Imprint: FyfieldBooks
Published: June 1995
200 x 130 x 13 mm
192 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Contents
  • Close by a lonely place that seems so lone
    There stands a house nobody seems to own
    Yet there a pleasant man with much to say
    Lives & time passes pleasantly away
    The stranger often passes where he dwells
    & stops his horse & hears the tale he tells
    For in his garden which he calls his won
    There leans an ancient & a curious stone
    The childern sit upon the stone & play
    He tells his tale & never asks for pay
    He calls the Stone St Guthlacs now unknown
    & cannot tell the letters on the stone
    The stranger stands & wonders when he hears
    & reads the story of a thousand years

    from Peterborough MS A61

    John Clare was an assiduous practitioner of the sonnet form at all periods of his poetic career. The sonnets he produced in the last few years before his institutionalisation in 1837, fist at High Beech and then in Northampton General Asylum, are of particular interest, since he exploited the inherent brevity of the form to express a simultaneous precision of observation and starkness of vision that he rarely achieved either before or after.

    The present volume prints all the sonnets that Clare wrote at Northborough between 1832 and 1837 with the exception of those included in The Midsummer Cushion and The Rural Muse, both also available from Carcanet. Northborough Sonnets allows the reader to trace the development of Clare's handling of the form in this period. They constitute fascinating vignettes of rural life in the early nineteenth century and the record of a unique poetic sensibility. They are accompanied by an introduction, informative notes, and a glossary of dialect and unfamiliar words.
    Table of Contents

    Acknowledgements

    Introduction

    Northborough Sonnets

    Notes

    Glossary

    Index of First Lines

    John Clare
    John Clare (1793-1864): Born the son of a thresher at Helpston, Northamptonshire, John Clare is a rural poet and story teller. He is a poet of spiritual originality, as compelling at his best as Crabbe and Wordsworth as a story teller in verse. He was an assiduous practitioner of the sonnet ... read more
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