Past Masters

(A Clarean Sonnet)

If I had ever taken note at school,
those moments often shunned by this poor fool,
of literature, philosophy and tomes
that offered us the sustenance of poems.

Be gowned, our masters strenuously plead
that sonnets and soliloquy we read
to dress our minds and feed our souls with love
of words that speak a language from above
our mundane daily toil; speak of the day
when I am moved with eloquence to say
“I understand … Oh now I understand!”

And when I feel my heart in her soft hands
I move to paint her love with words I see
embedded in my mind’s sweet mystery.

© 2012, poem, John Anstie, All rights reserved; only known photograph (1862)of John Clare below by W.W. Law of Northhampton is in the public domain

John_Clare_by_WW_LawThis poem was originally submitted for the ‘FormForAll:Clarian Sonnets’ over at the dVerse Poets Pub where Samuel Peralta (Twitter ID @semaphore) was teaching us about the sonnets of early 19th century poet, John Clare.


I curate The Poet by Day, and am a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. The Poet by Day [] is an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights. Email for permissions, commissions, or assignments. I am also the founding editor of "The BeZine" and manage all associated activities. Email:

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