Francis Duggan

Parker Clare - Poem by Francis Duggan

To a forgotten culture perhaps he now belongs
The man who could sing over a thousand songs
The father of the famous poet John Clare
Even in his own time people like him were rare.

The ballad singer of the Helpston countryside
Hundreds of the old songs he sung with him died
So little of the oral tradition now remain
Forever lost not to be found again.

Two hundred years ago one of a dying breed
Poor Parker Clare he could not write nor read
Yet through his son his name lives on today
A memory lost but yet to fade away.

He came from an oral tradition that is forever gone
Yet memories of what was still living on
And at a time when great change was happening in his English countryside
Most of the songs he sung with Parker died.

A fading memory that won't fade away
And through his son his name still lives today
Still a genius in his own right the thresher Parker Clare
And even in his time his type were quite rare.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 4, 2008

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