Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

John Clare: 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.


Public Domain

John Clare (1793 – 1864) was an English poet, the son of a farm laborer, who became known for his celebrations of the English countryside and sorrows at its disruption. His poetry underwent major re-evaluation in the late 20th century: he is now often seen as one of the important 19th-century poets. His biographer Jonathon Bate states that Clare was “the greatest laboring-class poet that England has ever produced. No one has ever written more powerfully of nature, of a rural childhood, and of the alienated and unstable self.

One comment on “John Clare: The Thunder Mutters

  1. johnlawsonpoet
    September 4, 2020

    Love this. Don’t know Clare, but he’s now on my bucket list.

    Liked by 1 person

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