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John Clare and the Place of Poetry$
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Mina Gorji

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781846311635

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846315381

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Uncouth Rhymes

Uncouth Rhymes

(p.32) Chapter Two Uncouth Rhymes
John Clare and the Place of Poetry
Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the influence of Thomas Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard on the works of John Clare. It considers Clare's own elegies including the ‘uncouth rhymes’ he carved on rustic tombstones in the country churchyard and describes the shapes and dynamics of his allusions to the Elegy. It suggests that in Clare's allusions he was often playing with the ideas of artlessness and uncouthness and he was also often calling up and revising his own image as an obscure and artless peasant poet.

Keywords:   John Clare, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, Thomas Gray, elegies, uncouth rhymes, artlessness, peasant poet

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