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Wendy Cope on John Clare

Episode 5 of 9

Wendy Cope tells Matthew Parris why she loves the 19th century poet John Clare. Jonathan Bate is the expert witness. From 2015.

"John Clare, I cried last night for you" wrote Wendy Cope in a poem dedicated to the earlier poet, who overcame monumental setbacks such as a poverty-stricken upbringing and a long struggle with mental illness. However, Clare managed to write some of the most sensitive poetry in the English language. At one point he was known as "the English Robert Burns" but then his fame dropped away and many people now remember him solely for his cri de coeur, "I Am."

Expert witness is John Clare's biographer, Sir Jonathan Bate.

Producer Christine Hall

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in May 2015

Available now

30 minutes


Role Contributor
Presenter Matthew Parris


  • Tue 5 May 2015 16:30
  • Fri 8 May 2015 23:30
  • Thu 20 Aug 2020 18:30
  • Fri 21 Aug 2020 00:30
  • Sat 22 Aug 2020 07:30
  • Sat 22 Aug 2020 17:30
  • Sun 23 Aug 2020 05:30

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