Episode

Classic Poetry Aloud

Classic Poetry Aloud

Arts, Literature

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Literature 82

Classic Poetry Aloud gives voice to poetry through podcast recordings of the great poems of the past. Our library of poems is intended as a resource for anyone interested in reading and listening to poetry. For us, it's all about the listening, and how hearing a poem can make it more accessible, as well as heightening its emotional impact. See more at: www.classicpoetryaloud.com

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335. What is Life? by John Clare

September 6th, 2008

Episode 326 of 608 episodes

J Clare read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to classic poetry. --------------------------------------------------- What is Life? by John Clare (1793 – 1864) And what is Life? An hour-glass on the run, A mist retreating from the morning sun, A busy, bustling, still-repeated dream. Its length? A minute's pause, a moment's thought. And Happiness? A bubble on the stream, That in the act of seizing shrinks to nought. And what is Hope? The puffing gale of morn, That of its charms divests the dewy lawn, And robs each flow'ret of its gem -and dies; A cobweb, hiding disappointment's thorn, Which stings more keenly through the thin disguise. And what is Death? Is still the cause unfound? That dark mysterious name of horrid sound? A long and lingering sleep the weary crave. And Peace? Where can its happiness abound? Nowhere at all, save heaven and the grave. Then what is Life? When stripped of its disguise, A thing to be desired it cannot be; Since everything that meets our foolish eyes Gives proof sufficient of its vanity. 'Tis but a trial all must undergo, To teach unthankful mortals how to prize That happiness vain man's denied to know, Until he's called to claim it in the skies. Comments For more information on this unjustly neglected 19th Century poet, visit http://www.johnclare.org.uk/ First aired: 10 October, 2007 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

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