Publisher description for I am : the selected poetry of John Clare / edited by Jonathan Bate.

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Hail, humble Helpstone ...
Where dawning genius never met the day,
Where useless ignorance slumbers life away
Unknown nor heeded, where low genius tries
Above the vulgar and the vain to rise.
--from "Helpstone"

"I Am": The Selected Poetry of John Clare is the first anthology of the great "peasant poet"'s remarkable verse that makes available the full range of his accomplishments. Here are the different Clares that have beguiled readers for two centuries: the tender chronicler of nature and childhood the champion of folkways in the face of oppression the passionate, sweet-tongued love-poet and the lonely visionary confined, in old age and senility, to asylums.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Pastoral poetry, English, Country life Poetry, England Poetry, Nature Poetry