Monday, June 15, 2015

I am! by John Clare


I am!

J O H N  C L A R E

I am—yet what I am none cares or knows;
My friends forsake me like a memory lost:
I am the self-consumer of my woes—
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
Even the dearest that I loved the best
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.

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This poem will forever remind me of my English teacher, Mrs Clegg, who had such a gentle soul; when she read poems aloud to us she would get lost in the words. I remember being in the classroom, listening to her read this poem to us when she made a small squeak. She was crying. "This always makes me cry," she said.


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3 comments

Carly said...

Beautiful poem! I really relate to the end. As a mother, I always watch my child and wonder what it was like to have such care free feelings and thoughts
Dresses & Denim

Louise @ readsandrecipes.com said...

Thank you :)

Amanda said...

This is so sweet. I've never read this poem before. I actually have a tattoo on my wrist that says, "I am." but it's because of a Sylvia Plath quote. "I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart; I am, I am, I am,"

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