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The Flood. John Clare. John Clare. John Clare (13 July 1793 – 20 May 1864) was an English poet, the son of a farm labourer, who came to be known for his celebratory representations of the English countryside and his lamentation of its disruption.

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the flood

The Flood

John Clare

john clare
John Clare
  • John Clare (13 July 1793 – 20 May 1864) was an English poet, the son of a farm labourer, who came to be known for his celebratory representations of the English countryside and his lamentation of its disruption.
  • Was in an asylum from 1837-1841, had bouts of severe depression
  • Knownas The Northamptonshire Peasant Poet
  • Had alcohol problems
structure
Structure
  • No punctuation- flow of uncontrolled thoughts
  • Irregular rhyme- irregularity of the waves
  • Rough sonnet form with iambic pentameter
  • Sonnet’s are often associated with death or love, therefore projects haunting images
language
Language
  • The “winter floods” are personified – image of them ‘playing’ gives the impression of power.
  • “dashing spray” – Clare is glorifying the waves, makes the scene appear more dramatic and majestic
  • “shudder jarred the arches” – creates a more violent image, first suggestion of actual impact
  • “shock as stubborn as before” – sibilance used to create a sinister tone
language second stanza
Language- second stanza
  • “More swift than shadows in a stormy day” – alliteration to show the crashing of the waves and the speed of their movement
  • “- all in vain” creates a pause that appears to be a reflection on the behaviour of the waves before
  • “- reels –” is stilted, shows the back and forth continuous movement of the waves
language third stanza
Language – third stanza
  • “Like plunging monsters rising underneath” – simile that makes the waves appear more dangerous, “rising” symbolises the inevitable, unexpected
  • “ocean blea” – (blea is directly beneath bark of a tree) – reality or past memories being revealed or exposed
comparisons
Comparisons

The Bight – violence within nature and what the consequences of nature can be,

“All the untidy activity continues, awful but cheerful” and “Like trouble wandering to eternity” – continuity in the loss and misery.

Binsey Poplars – images of destruction,

times of very little punctuation – conveys the lack of control over the situations.

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