Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Am

Today I pulled a book off my shelf entitled Wrestling With Giants, a British publication edited by John Young.  The sub title is "Stories of Hope and Faith For All Who Struggle".  The author seeks, with biblical truth, to help readers who deal with panic attacks, disability, cancer, bereavement and depression.

He closes with a poem by John Clare (1793-1864) and prefaces Clare's poetry of lament with the following statement:

"I have chosen a poem by the so-called "rustic poet", John Clare, an uneducated but outstanding nineteenth-century poet.  He suffered from severe mental illness and spent the last twenty-three years of his life in the General Lunatic Asylum in Northampton.  John Clare's poem catches the anguish of mental illness and the deep longing for release.  Despire the bleakness of his experience, he expresses his faith in 'my Creator God'."

Dare I admit that Clare's words resonated with me?  I guess I just did.  If you are encouraged by this post and you are a step closer to understanding that you are not alone in your struggles, then sharing these scribblings will have been worthwhile.

Clare writes:

I am—yet what I am none cares or knows;
My friends forsake me like a memory lost:
I am the self-consumer of my woes—
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love and death's oblivion lost;
And yet I am, and live—with shadows lost.

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
And e'en the dearest that I loved the best
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above, the vaulted sky.

     by John Clare


  1. Beautiful, thanks for sharing! Hope you are doing well and are keeping warm.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing David...Praying...