Poetry Close Reading: John Clare's 'I Am'

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Course|COML1054: CTC: Poetry and Drama|Course School/Level|HU/UG|
Coursework|Poetry Close Reading|Assessment Weight|20.00%|
Tutor|HG Derbyshire, ED Jones, A King|Submission Deadline|06/11/2012|

Analyse a Romantic poem showing understanding of context and form. 1,500 words.|

Coursework is receipted on the understanding that it is the student 's own work and that it has not, in whole or part, been presented elsewhere for assessment. Where material has been used from other sources it has been properly acknowledged in accordance with the University 's Regulations regarding Cheating and Plagiarism.|

000659175 Cherry Hurley
Tutor 's comments
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For me, it also creates a calming effect with the over-all atmosphere of the poem; although the narrator is tormented and suffering, they still appear calm, as though reaching this decision of not wanting to live any more is almost freeing them; like making the final move towards ‘Heaven’ will be good for them. It is in line 12 that I found another interesting use of written pause, with-
“Are strange – nay, rather, stranger than the rest.”
–This creates a very conversational tone, and gives us the impression that they are confiding with us, or maybe talking to themselves and that we are listening in on something personal, the way they correct themselves half way through a sentence/ line. It also draws us back to the feeling of total honesty, as they are not perfecting their speech, just saying how they feel at that moment. I found I Am to be fairly modern in comparison to other Romantic works of that era, and I believe the reason behind this is that Clare doesn’t limit himself and his work here by keeping strictly to certain methods of rhyme or line endings; for example the first stanza is 6 lines worth of alternating couplets, one couplet of which doesn’t even completely rhyme in terms of sound; ‘lost’ (end of line 2) and ‘host’ (end of line 4). This is more consonance than rhyme. The other two stanzas then go on in a ‘Venus and Adonis’ style with line endings
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