I Am

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 shades in love and death’s oblivion lost;

And yet I am, and live with shadows tost

 

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,

Into the living sea of waking dreams,

Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,

But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;

And even the dearest – that I loved the best –

Are strange – nay, rather, stranger than the rest.

 

I long for scenes where man has 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.

 

John Clare is the man behind this wonderful poem.

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