This poem, ‘The Old Year’, by the underrated John Clare (1793-1864) is about bidding farewell to the old year rather than ushering in the new. Indeed, the stanza form is strikingly similar to Thomas Hardy’s later poem ‘The Darkling Thrush’: did Hardy have Clare’s poem in mind when he wrote his 1900 New Year meditation?
The Old Year
The Old Year’s gone away
To nothingness and night:
We cannot find him all the day
Nor hear him in the night:
He left no footstep, mark or place
In either shade or sun: Read the rest of this entry