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‘The Thunder Mutters’: A Poem by John Clare

John Clare (1793-1864) is still almost criminally underrated as a poet: as a Romantic poet, as a nature poet, and as a great English poet, full stop. ‘The Thunder Mutters’ is a short poem that sees Clare capturing the effect that the rumbling of thunder has upon the natural world.

The Thunder Mutters

The thunder mutters louder & more loud
With quicker motion hay folks ply the rake
Ready to burst slow sails the pitch black cloud
& all the gang a bigger haycock make
To sit beneath—the woodland winds awake
The drops so large wet all thro’ in an hour
A tiney flood runs down the leaning rake
In the sweet hay yet dry the hay folks cower
& some beneath the waggon shun the shower.

If you liked ‘The Thunder Mutters’, you might also enjoy John Clare’s great poem, ‘I Am’.

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A blog dedicated to rooting out the interesting stuff about classic books and authors.

Posted on November 21, 2018, in Literature and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. isabellacatolica

    A lovely, lovely poem, though I do not think “lovely” is in the lexicon of lit crit.
    I wonder if that rhyme scheme (ababbcbcc) is at all usual. And 9-line stanzas?

    • I agree that it’s a lovely poem (even though, as you say, such a term may be difficult to justify in critical terms!). That’s a good point about the rhyme scheme. It’s a Spenserian stanza (9 lines rhymed ababbcbcc), so named because Spenser uses it in his vast unfinished epic poem, The Faerie Queene. Shelley’s ‘Stanzas Written in Dejection, Near Naples’ is another example, but it’s relatively rare in English verse, I think! (Keats’s ‘The Eve of St Agnes’ is another example.)

  2. isabellacatolica

    A lovely, lovely poem, though I do not think “lovely” is in the lexicon of lit crit.
    I wonder if that rhyme scheme (ababbcbcc) is at all usual. And the 9-line stanza?

  1. Pingback: 10 of the Best Poems about Thunderstorms | Interesting Literature

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