1820 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Clare

Anonymous, in Review of Clare, Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery; British Critic NS 13 (1820) 663.



We most cordially and sincerely hope that Clare will reap a substantial advantage by the publication of this collection, and that he will be placed at once beyond the reach of poverty. The extracts which we shall select from his volume will themselves speak sufficiently as to the poetical rank to which he may be entitled; and his peculiar situation effectually disarms our criticism. The tendency of his book throughout is moral, and if a single piece, the "grossierete" of which cannot fail to offend every reader, has been suffered to creep in, it must be set down to a cause which is connected with that which in reality forms the principal merit of the poems before us — the circumstances of the writer.