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This poem is taken from Poetry Nation 1 Number 1, 1973.

John Clare, Constrained David Day
JOHN CLARE, CONSTRAINED

Rime is my coat.
I have slept out all night.
Trees are happy in December dazzle.
That I live is no concern of theirs.

The sun is over Burghley House.
The master wakes and calls
Through gilded corridors. I walked
from Newark to be here.

Work is here. I felt mad to be
constricted so by tents and bugles' call.
Some told me of the river's bore.
The bowing Trent was mine as well.

Birds ran through my brain
and mice which nibbled
in the straw. Crows cawed
and settle in the wicked elms.

In sleep my nodding head was loath
...


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