For John Clare by Harry Husbands

I am a wiser, better man for reading you;
For words that showed me all the beauty brought
In summer’s light and autumn’s quiet gloom;
For meaning, I’ve so often wrongly sought
In fancy things that flicker out
And leave me grasping, holding on to nought.

Your loneliness is shared through time
And passed through words I’ve soaked into my pores
And through your pain, you’ve softened mine;
My self-consuming woes and aching sores,
Eased by rhymes and soothed by stanzas sweet,
From those you wrote to others incomplete.

I hope you passed in gentle thoughts and prayers;
I hope you rest below the vaulted sky in death;
I hope your skin can feel the summer air
And nose can smell the meadow’s sighing breath.
And though you’re gone, I do not feel deprived;
You’re on my shelves and still alive.


Harry Husbands lives in Peterborough. He is a writer and poet. John Clare is one of his primary influences. His affinity for the natural world is something I feel a deep connection with.
Harry's poema can be read on his blog at