The Poet In Love


"The Poet In Love"

The story of
John Clare and Patty Turner
from 1818 to 1820

Launched on the 20th May 2014 at the John Clare Cottage, Helpston, at a meeting with a group of 'facebookfriends to mark the 150th Anniversary of Clare's death. The book is priced at £25 for our own hand-made limited edition.  During the morning, we visited his grave in St. Botolph's Church in Helpston, but then went to Northborough to visit his wife Patty's grave, finally moving on to Glinton and Mary Joyce's grave.  Not an 'organised' visit, just a group of friends of John Clare who wish to pay their respects and to read some of his works together.  'Profound' is the work that comes to mind of our time together (and rather fun too)!

Our limited edition was sold out before the launch, but our friends at The Fine Book Bindery have again produced an edition of 100 for us - again handmade (see elsewhere in this website) - these were ready in time for the John Clare Society Festival, and are again priced at £25.  Copies are still available from me.

O say not love I too despise thee
& wi malice evil tongued
Slander & reproach against thee
& delight to see thee wrongd
Every arm that vice is urging
At my bared breast they throw
Every weapon raisd against thee
Raises mine to stay the blow

Every tear thy cheek that moistens
Moists the eye that sees it start
Every sigh that rends thy bosom
Thrills its echo in my heart
Every shaft that flies to wound thee
On my aching heart they fall
Every wound that pains thy bosom
Mines the love that shares it all

Exploring their courtship from 1818 to 1820 in Clare's verse, including several poems never before seen outside the Clarendon Editions, and one or two entirely unpublished in any form.  The story of John and Patty's courtship is not very well known, as many of the poems Clare wrote describing their intimate relationships over these two crucial years in both their lives were judged by Taylor and Hessey to be too explicit for publication.  We beg to differ.

The book includes a 'Foreword' by Ronald Blythe and an 'Afterword' by Eric Robinson

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