"I am - yet what I am none cares or knows;
My friends forsake me like a memory lost:
I am the self-consumer of my woes -
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes;
And yet I am, and live - like vapors tossed
Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
Even the dearest that I loved the best
Are strange - nay, rather, stranger than the rest.
I long for scenes where man hath never trod,
A place where woman never smiled or wept,
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie,
The grass below - above the vaulted sky."
- John Clare
About the poet: John Clare (13 July, 1793- 20 May, 1864) was an English poet. He was born in Northamptonshire, England in the family of a farm laborer. Clare's poetic work mostly showcases his celebratory representations of the English countryside. In his time, Clare was commonly known as "Northamptonshire Peasant Poet" His early work delights both in nature and the cycle of the rural year. "I Am" is a commentary on the complexity of existence.
“We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering - these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love - these are what we stay alive for.”
- “Dead Poets Society”