In this installment, Joshua Kryah reads “Where She Told Her Love” by John Clare. Kryah was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he received a Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he was a Schaeffer Fellow in poetry. His first collection of poems, Glean (2007), won the 2005 Nightboat Books Poetry Prize judged by Donald Revell. His poems have appeared in Denver Quarterly, FIELD, The Iowa Review, Pleiades, and Shenandoah, among other journals. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife and daughter and is a Visiting Assistant Professor in UNLV’s University College. He is also poetry editor for Witness.
John Clare, “Where She Told Her Love”
I saw her crop a rose
Right early in the day,
And I went to kiss the place
Where she broke the rose away
And I saw the patten rings
Where she oer the stile had gone,
And I love all other things
Her bright eyes look upon.
If she looks upon the hedge or up the leafing tree,
The whitethorn or the brown oak are made dearer things to me.
I have a pleasant hill
Which I sit upon for hours,
Where she cropt some sprigs of thyme
And other little flowers;
And she muttered as she did it
As does beauty in a dream,
And I loved her when she hid it
On her breast, so like to cream,
Near the brown mole on her neck that to me a diamond shone
Then my eye was like to fire, and my heart was like to stone.
There is a small green place
Where cowslips early curled,
Which on Sabbath day I trace,
The dearest in the world.
A little oak spreads oer it,
And throws a shadow round,
A green sward close before it,
The greenest ever found:
There is not a woodland nigh nor is there a green grove,
Yet stood the fair maid nigh me and told me all her love.