King's School, Ottery St. Mary

I had the pleasure today of speaking for an hour to the 6th form of King's School in Ottery St. Mary about Clare and his work. Bit difficult really to cover such a prolific and complex poet in an hour, but we did hit upon the Enclosures... Gipsys... Sex & Love... Longing... and the sheer emotion he imbues into all his work. A treat for me, hope it was helpful for such a great group. Thanks SJ for the invitation.

A special excerpt just for them:

From covert hedge, on either side,
The blackbirds flutter'd terrified,
Mistaking me for pilfering boy
That doth too oft their nests destroy;
And "prink, prink, prink," they took to wing,
In snugger shades to build and sing.
From tufted grass or bush, the hare
Oft sprung from her endanger'd lair;
Surprise was startled on her rout,
So near one's feet she bolted out.
The sun each tree-top mounted o'er,
And got church-steeple height or more:
And as I soodled on and on,
The ground was warm to look upon,
it e'en invited one to rest,
And have a nap upon its breast;
But thought upon my journey's end,
Where doubtful fancies did depend,
Urg'd on my lazy feet to roam,
Like truant school-boy kept from home.

From "Holywell" by John Clare

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