My book, City of Verse: A London Poetry Trail, is now available on the Amazon and Kobo stores.
More enduring than bronze now is this monument I have made, one to reach over the Pyramids’ regal heaps, one that no greedy devouring rain, that no blustering north wind nor the run of long years unnumbered nor ages’ flight can ruin. I’ll not die entirely, some principal part of me yet evading the great Goddess of Burials. (Ode III.30 – Horace, trans. John Hollander)
John Clare had been a inpatient at Northampton General Lunatic Asylum for almost twenty years when he wrote his last letter, to James Hipkins. Hipkins, who had never met Clare but admired his work, had written to Dr Wing, the asylum superintendent, to enquire after the poet’s health.