I’m a huge fan of John Clare’s poetry, the majority of which captures the rustic, rural life so well. It still haunts me that he ended his years in an asylum where he still was able to continue writing poetry. To comes to terms with how such a person who loved the countryside ended up in such a place, I wrote the following poem:
TO JOHN CLARE
A caged bird who performed for society’s pleasure,
Who sweetly sang of meadows and the woodland rose
Now forever marred by the sins and folly of man.
O Eden’s Poet cruelly banished from his Garden,
Was it the loss of what you so dearly cherished;
Was the thought and burden too great to bear
That finally broke your spirit and your joy to sing?
( “To John Clare” © Poeticmeditation, 2012. All rights reserved. )