Thursday, 9 September 2010

John Clare on September

Now that i am a safe distance from my own little poem, I will post some more lines from John Clare's 'The Shepherd's Calendar'. I don't want to be shown up here.

What was the big thing about September when we were all young?  John Clare notes it well:

"None but imprison'd children now
 Are seen where dames with angry brow
 Threaten each younker to his seat
 That thro' the school door eyes the street
 Or for his horn book turns away
 To mourn for liberty and play..."

I remember it well (sobs brokenly).  The endless summer holiday - and suddenly! a new year at school - or occasionally a new school.  There was a  certain excitement about it too, but that didn't last long.  I really did not like school at all, though I wish now I could have realised what a priviledge it is to have all that time to learn - and what it was all for.

Jamming children together in large peer groups is not a good idea either.

Not that John Clare is starry eyed about children.  I don't think he is searching for his 'inner child' or anything,as he also notes this:

"As yet no meddling boys resort
 About the streets in idle sport
 The butterflye enjoys his hour
 And flirts unchaced from flower to flower
 And humming bees that morning calls
 From out the low huts mortar walls
 Flye undisturbed about their holes
 And sparrows in glad chirpings meet
 Unpelted in the quiet street."

We had parents who taught us to be kind to animals, but not everyone does.

The language is interesting - the butterfly 'flirts' rather than flits. 

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