Poem introduction

'I Am' is one of Clare’s best known poems. It was written later on in his life, while he was institutionalised in the Northampton asylum. You have to remember that Clare carried on writing while he was in this asylum and even found an amanuenses at Northampton who helped him to get the poems down on paper. These later poems lose some of the local specificity of the early work but, once Clare had been moved away from or outside of all of his important places, a different note often creeps in as he seems to look beyond the world and place his trust in his creator.

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