Maid of the Wilderness, by John Clare

František Kupka - Girl shading her eyes
František Kupka – Girl shading her eyes (c.1908) – J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

I give here yet another love poem from Asylum Poems, the fascinating collection of verses that John Clare composed when he was interned in an insane asylum because of his schizophrenic hallucinations. Contrasting with his numerous sentimental poems, this piece is sensuous and wild; behind poetic images—and a silence—hides the poet’s fullness of heat and passion. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

The Forest Maid, by John Clare

William-Adolphe Bouguereau - Enfant tressant une couronne
William-Adolphe Bouguereau – Enfant tressant une couronne (1874) – from Wikimedia Commons

This sweet poem by John Clare comes from his beautiful collection Asylum Poems, written while he was interned in a lunatic asylum. It tells the love he shared with a young girl, and he gives her a lovely name: Mary Littlechild. It probably refers to his first love, Mary Joyce, whom he courted briefly at age 16, until her father put an end to their relation. She remained his ideal of love and beauty, and when he lost reason, Clare believed that Mary Joyce was his true wife. In July 1841, Clare absconded from the asylum and walked 140 km home, intent on returning to Mary. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Love Lives Beyond the Tomb, by John Clare

Jana Brike
Jana Brike

Today, I present another beautiful little piece from the collection Asylum Poems that John Clare wrote while he was interned in a lunatic asylum. It is a message of hope, he tells us that love is everlasting, it “lives beyond the tomb, the earth, the flowers, and dew,” and it can be found with “the fond, the faithful, young and true.” The genuine heart-love of a young maiden brings the poet eternal happiness. The secret of a fruitful life is a young heart full of love. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…