by John Clare
Analysis: Calling Card
Okay, okay. We know this is the poem's title, but we swear Clare says "I Am" more than everybody else. Take a peek at the first stanza and count 'em up; yep, four times. That's quite a bit. If you were taking an exam and a teacher gave you the poem's first stanza, you would know it was Clare based on how many times that little two-word phrase occurs.
But, but—there's more. Clare actually wrote another poem with almost the exact same title (it's usually called "Lines: I Am" to distinguish it from its more famous cousin). If you guessed that this poem probably says "I Am," you guessed right (sorry, there's nor prize for guessing it correctly). Anyway, just like the regular "I Am," this one also contains that little phrase four times, in configurations like "I feel I am. I only know I am" (1). Give it a whirl right here and see if you like it better!