Summary Of I Am By John Clare

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The poet John Clare wrote “I am” in the 1840s, the latter part of his life. It is easy to see from just the short biography that Rob Pope provides in Studying English Literature and Language that Clare was a troubled man. This characteristic of the poet is expressed extremely well in “I am” where he describes the melancholy emotions that plague him. Pope gives readers of Studying English Literature and Language a bit of context for Clare’s poem. Clare was characterized as a ‘peasant poet,’ making his road to fame difficult. Perhaps the most prominent information provided was that Clare admitted to an asylum, not just once, twice during his life of seventy-one years. With this information, it is assumable that John Clare was not mentally healthy. “I am” was actually written during Clare’s second institutionalization in an asylum, Northampton General Lunatic Asylum, that lasted from 1841 until the end of his life in 1866.
In the first stanza of “I am,” Clare explains the source of his sadness. He says that no one cares or knows of him, showing his feelings of alienation. He goes on to say that his “friends forsake” him, using an alliteration to draw the readers’ attention. Without companions by his side, the estranged writer tells that he has to shoulder his burdens alone without outside comfort. In these lines, the poet uses the phrase ‘I am’ four times. This statement seems more like a cry in relation to the desperate tone of the poem. He seems to be telling people that he

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