Clare, Keats, Poesy, and Joy

  • Adam White


‘Poesy’ is fundamental to the production of various kinds of ‘joy’ in Clare’s poetry, helping – through the possibility of imaginative flight – to both alleviate and transcend the drudgery of rural labour. ‘Poesy’ is also a Keatsian term, and both Keats and Clare look to poesy for its power to offer escape from pressing troubles and cares in reality: attending to these processes evidences a comparable, transcendent, but distinctive aesthetic in each writer. By focusing on the fluid and productive relationship between poesy and joy in Clare’s lyric, this chapter shows how he works out consistent, pleasurable poetic patterns, registering a sustained transport and transcendence beyond the everyday and mundane that is comparable to Keats, but with a highly distinctive, pastoral inflection of Clare’s own.

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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam White
    • 1
  1. 1.The Open UniversityMilton KeynesUnited Kingdom

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