John Clare, The Shepherd’s Calendar

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Clare’s

The Shepherd’s Calendar

(1827) works—creatively and innovatively—in the tradition of Edmund Spenser’s

The Shepheardes Calendar

(1579). Both poems deploy each of the twelve months of the year to focus on pastoral subjects and themes. Clare’s poem is a document of considerable formal dexterity; in the different months of

The Shepherd’s Calendar

he utilises, variously, iambic pentameter and octosyllabic couplets, Spenserian stanzas (in “November”), and ababcdcd stanza rhyme schemes in his celebratory stance towards a range of rural customs and intimate and engaging delineations of rural labour.

As well as Spenser, and a small number of now rather obscure poems—Tim Chilcott (34 –5) mentions works by James Grahame (The Rural Calendar, 1797) and James Hurdis (The

2738 words

Citation: White, Adam. "The Shepherd’s Calendar". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 August 2018 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=38858, accessed 15 July 2024.]

38858 The Shepherd’s Calendar 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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