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To John Clare by John Clare


"To John Clare" is a poem by John Clare.At first glance, the author of this poem might look like an error, but it's not. John Clare wrote a poem to himself, something like a journal entry. He asks himself "how fare you now at home?" and goes on to list what's going on. We can only imagine what is meant as it is symbolism, but we can easily imagine which family member might be the crow and pigs.

"To John Clare" is a one stnanza poem written with fourteen lines. Like many of Clare's writings, it contains mostly alternating rhymes: ABABABCDCDDEDE. The difference in this poem is the ending. In line eleven Clare stops his pattern and gives us something else. Not only this, but in line thirteen he once again messes with his rhyme. "too" and "blow" are not true rhymes.


To John Clare

Well, honest John, how fare you now at home?
The spring is come, and birds are building nests;
The old cock-robin to the sty is come,
With olive feathers and its ruddy breast;
And the old cock, with wattles and red comb,
Struts with the hens, and seems to like some best,
Then crows, and looks about for little crumbs,
Swept out by little folks an hour ago;
The pigs sleep in the sty; the bookman comes--
The little boy lets home-close nesting go,
And pockets tops and taws, where daisies blow,
To look at the new number just laid down,
With lots of pictures, and good stories too,
And Jack the Giant-killer's high renown.

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