John Clare 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. His poetry underwent a major re-evaluation in the late 20th century and he is often now considered to be among the most important 19th-century poets.
The poem December by John Clare is read by Gill Fraser Lee (@AHappyflower) on Jason McCrossan’s Saturday Breakfast show on www.sfmradio.com.
The poem is read by Gill Fraser Lee (@AHappyflower) on Jason McCrossan’s Saturday Breakfast show on www.sfmradio.com.
This is one of the most famous and enduring war poems, and it was written at an historic moment … just after the retreat from Mons and the victory of the Marne.
As to how it came to be written, Laurence Binyon, who celebrated his 70th anniversary on 10 August 1939, says: “I can’t recall the exact date beyond that it was shortly after the retreat. I was set down, out of doors, on a cliff in Polzeath, Cornwall. The stanza “They Shall Grow Not Old” was written first and dictated the rhythmical movement of the whole poem.
When John Betjeman’s Collected Poems came out in 1958 they made publishing history and have since sold over two and a quarter million copies.
But Betjeman was not only a poet. Through his broadcasting and journalism he opened people’s eyes to the value of the buildings and landscape around them and became Britain’s grand champion of its heritage.
On the 106.9 SFM Saturday breakfast show with Jason McCrossan – Tranquil Time at 07:50am is our poetry spot – a time to allow the stresses and strains of the day to wash away.
This poem is called the ‘Hunter Trials’ by John Betjeman, It is read by Matthew Ward.