We mark National Poetry Day with John Clare’s Anticipating the Coming Autumn.  

Clare was not strong on punctuation, and is likely frowned upon in these puritanical days where the ability to put your apostrophes in the right place is so important, and knowing how to analyse sentence structure sometimes seems more crucial than any meanings it might have.  However, Clare’s ability to capture nature’s essence is hard to beat:

I love the fitfull gusts that shakes

The casement all the day

And from the mossy elm tree takes

The faded leaf away

Twirling it by the window-pane

With thousand others down the lane

 

I love to see the shaking twig

Dance till the shut of eve

The sparrow on the cottage rig

Whose chirp would make believe

That spring was just now flirting by

In summers lap with flowers to lie

 

I love to see the cottage smoke

Curl upwards through the naked trees

The pigeons nestled round the coat

On dull November days like these

The cock upon the dung-hill crowing

The mill sails on the heath agoing

 

The feather from the ravens breast

Falls on the stubble lea

The acorns near the old crows nest

Fall pattering down the tree

The grunting pigs that wait for all

Scramble and hurry where they fall