The Shepherds Calendar
The poem provides a calendar of the country year, in which the various tasks performed by the farm labourer take their place: ploughing in February, lambing in March, and hay-making in June.
The countryman's year is also punctuated by celebrations and festivals, such as May Day games, sheep-shearing feasts, Harvest Home, and Christmas. Rooted in popular culture, the poem has many vivid descriptions of the flowers, birds, and beasts of the hedgerow and field.
This reissue, first published in 1964 and in a second edition in 1993, is published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of John Clare's death. It includes charming wood engravings by David Gentleman.