Wednesday, 4 August 2010

John Clare on August

I forgot to include the John Clare take on July - even though his 'Shepherd's Calendar' contains two poems on July.   His 'August' is all about harvest.

It begins:
"Harvest approaches with its bustling day
The wheat tans brown and barley bleaches grey..."

Interesting that the barley crop bleaches as it ripens.  Jesus, who used many illustrations from the world of the farmer, said:

"Do you  not say that there are yet four months before the harvest comes?  Look! I say to you: Lift up your eyes and view the fields, that they are white for harvesting." 

White for harvesting.

He was of course speaking of a great spiritual harvest.   The gathering in of those who are the first fruits to God, the annointed ones, or the saints - those who would rule from heaven with Jesus.  

Then John Clare gives a touching and troubling picture of how the children of the poor worked alongside their parents in the harvest fields.

"The ruddy child nursed in the lap of care
 In toils rude strife to do his little share
 Beside his mother poddles oer the land
 Sun burnt and stooping with a weary hand
 Picking his tiney glean of corn or wheat
 While crackling stubbles wound his little feet..."

And now we are just off to harvest our lunch from the local chippie.   Oh dear.  How feeble that sounds.

On our afternoon walk - quite local today - we found a field becoming ready for harvest, so I have asked for a photo which should appear on the blog at some stage.

No comments:

Post a Comment