John Clare

The Old Year

Poetic Beats

Welcome to the first Poetic Beats of 2018 with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 8th of January 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

Happy New Year to you all. In this edition we read the poem, The Old Year, by John Clare. At the time of the year when most people are looking forward and making New Year’s resolutions, today’s poem leaves a message that sometimes we should make some space to reflect and acknowledge the Old Year and the steps we have taken.

Due to some technical difficulties experienced in the studio the first line of the poem is missing from the recording.  You can read a text version of the poem provided after the sound bar.

To hear this week’s Poetic Beats please press the arrow to the left of the sound bar below.

 

 

The Old Year

The Old Year’s gone away

     To nothingness and night:

We cannot find him all the day

     Nor hear him in the night:

He left no footstep, mark or place

     In either shade or sun:

The last year he’d a neighbour’s face,

     In this he’s known by none.

 

All nothing everywhere:

     Mists we on mornings see

Have more of substance when they’re here

     And more of form than he.

He was a friend by every fire,

     In every cot and hall–

A guest to every heart’s desire,

     And now he’s nought at all.

 

Old papers thrown away,

     Old garments cast aside,

The talk of yesterday,

     Are things identified;

But time once torn away

     No voices can recall:

The eve of New Year’s Day

     Left the Old Year lost to all.

 

John Clare.