I am, yet what I am...

I am, yet what I am...

Sometimes it's worth sharing something just because you appreciate it's beauty. The poem below was written by John Clare whilst committed to Northampton General Lunatic Asylum in 1841, prior to this Clare claimed "I was Byron and Shakespeare formerly." and he walked some 80 miles believing he was to meet his first love. It is incredible to me that one so troubled can so lucidly describe what he feels has become. His closing lines are both incredibly sad and beautiful.

I Am

Written by John Clare (13 July 1793 – 20 May 1864)

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 vapours 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.