John Clare: The Critical Heritage

By Mark Storey | Go to book overview

46.

John Taylor on true poetry

1821

Taylor to Clare, 1 January 1821, Eg. 2245, fol. 267v.

It is not clear what poem Taylor means; it could be ‘To Lord Radstock’, sent in a letter of 30 December 1820. Taylor has been talking about Lord Radstock in the previous paragraph of this letter, and the asterisks are a joke between Taylor and Clare, representing the false delicacy required to satisfy Radstock’s sensibilities.

Thank you for the Sonnet. —It is⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ without doubt; but perhaps the Author does not further to his own Feelings out of Respect to established usage—If he has a soul of native Fancies, let him study to express what it dictates in that Language it will bring with it; then he will write like himself & no one else: if he has not that innate Poesy he may write clever Poems like many others who are called Poets, but he will have no just claim to the Title.

-130-

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