John Clare

Poetry and Protest

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 12th of March 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

Protest has always provided a form of non-violent protest for poets and Davy D’s poem, Because, offers words to highlight the urbanisation and destruction of the countryside taking place in the UK. Throughout history poets such as John Clare, William Blake and Christina Rossetti have all written poetry as a form of protest. These and the Russian poet, Irina Ratushinskaya, who in 1983 was sentenced to five years hard labour for writing poetry deemed to create anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda, are discussed in this episode of Poetic Beats.

If you have difficulty listening to the programme a text version of the poem is included after the sound bar.

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





near a concrete verge, a snowdrop

bows to the North Wind. An act of

defiance against minds immersed in

roadway oblivion. inside the aperture,

carbon white sits against a cold day

sprinkled on winter soil. the camera


sure in its capture of a new order.

above the din, can anyone hear the

robin sing, or the mindless torture

of scraped earth? the run of a nib

must carry more than the cold

blood from a profiteer’s core.


© Davy D 2018

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.