In this installment, Randall Couch reads “The Yellowhammer” by John Clare. Couch received a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship in poetry in 2000 and an MFA from Warren Wilson College in 2003. He teaches at Arcadia University and serves on the planning committee of Penn's Kelly Writers House. He is a contributor to the critical anthology Gabriela Mistral: The Audacious Traveler, edited by Marjorie Agosín (Ohio University Press, 2003).
John Clare, “The Yellowhammer”
When shall I see the white thorn leaves agen
And yellowhammers gath'ring the dry bents
By the dyke side on stilly moor or fen
Feathered wi love and natures good intents
Rude is the tent this Architect invents
Rural the place wi cart ruts by dyke side
Dead grass, horse hair and downy headed bents
Tied to dead thistles she doth well provide
Close to a hill o' ants where cowslips bloom
And shed o'er meadows far their sweet perfume
In early Spring when winds blow chilly cold
The yellowhammer trailing grass will come
To fix a place and choose an early home
With yellow breast and head of solid gold.