Context

Firstly, we have to take into account that we are trying to analyse a Romantic poet, so now I will try to contextualise him and why his poetry is based on nature. The Romanticism was a movement that emerged against the ideals of the Enlightenment, which was an intellectual movement in which the reason was the main reliable source. So, the Romantics got tired of the insistence on reason and searching the truth so they decided to focalise on beauty.

Romanticism, specially romantic poetry, has his basis on the union of the human being and nature. Their poetry shows that reason was not their main inspiration, but it used to be intuition. Moreover, they desestimate the urban way of living. They loved freedom, and love. Their main topics were those, as well as nature, and beauty. They used to show their feelings and emotions through their poetry, in order to create art.

The most successful and known poets of these time were the following: William Blake, William Wordworth, Samuel Taylor, Coloridge, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and John Keats. So, as you see, John Clare, is not usually mentioned as one of the most successful poets, and why is that? Well, in order to know that, we have to learn a little about how his life was.

John Clare was the son of a farm labourer, and he was also an agricultural labourer while still a child. He had a rural chilhood and spent most of his life in the countryside, that’s why most of his poetry is based on nature. In addition, he is considered one of the most powerful rural poets. It is said that when he was older, he became insane. One of the reason of that could be his malnutrition.

His poetry started to became well-known and so he started to earn more money, but it was not enough for him. Then his health began to suffer, so he fell into depression, and his poetry started to be less sold. After his death he spent some years in an asylum, where he wrote his most famous poems, and also re-wrote some Byron’s poems and sonnets. It was when he was old that his insanity became more pronounced.

So we can deduce that his style was due to his way of life (rural life), and even to his “madness”, apart from the historic period that he had to live, I mean, the Romanticism movement and beliefs may have influenced him; his way of thinking and therefore his poetry. And, ifnot you just have to judge yourself.

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