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Badger Analysis

Author: poem of John Clare Type: poem Views: 6

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When midnight comes a host of dogs and men

Go out and track the badger to his den,

And put a sack within the hole, and lie

Till the old grunting badger passes by.

He comes an hears - they let the strongest loose.

The old fox gears the noise and drops the goose.

The poacher shoots and hurries from the cry,

And the old hare half wounded buzzes by.

They get a forked stick to bear him down

And clap the dogs and take him to the town,

And bait him all the day with many dogs,

And laugh and shout and fright the scampering hogs.

He runs along and bites at all he meets:

They shout and hollo down the noisy streets.

He turns about to face the loud uproar

And drives the rebels to their very door.

The frequent stone is hurled where'er they go;

When badgers fight, then everyone's a foe.

The dogs are clapped and urged to join the fray'

The badger turns and drives them all away.

Though scarcely half as big, demure and small,

He fights with dogs for hours and beats them all.

The heavy mastiff, savage in the fray,

Lies down and licks his feet and turns away.

The bulldog knows his match and waxes cold,

The badger grins and never leaves his hold.

He drives the crowd and follows at their heels

And bites them through—the drunkard swears and reels

The frighted women take the boys away,

The blackguard laughs and hurries on the fray.

He tries to reach the woods, and awkward race,

But sticks and cudgels quickly stop the chase.

He turns again and drives the noisy crowd

And beats the many dogs in noises loud.

He drives away and beats them every one,

And then they loose them all and set them on.

He falls as dead and kicked by boys and men,

Then starts and grins and drives the crowd again;

Till kicked and torn and beaten out he lies

And leaves his hold and crackles, groans, and dies.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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| Posted on 2017-02-15 | by a guest

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i thought it could have been an extended metaphor for the industrial revolution effecting the countryside and urbanisation destroying animals lives, john clare was born during this time and lived in the countryside and could have been effected himself so its possible.

| Posted on 2012-05-19 | by a guest

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Perhaps this is an extended metaphor for the french revolution? The minorities being cornered and conquered? Though who the badger may symbolise is ambiguous?

| Posted on 2011-11-13 | by a guest

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(capital letters used purely for effect)

| Posted on 2011-05-10 | by a guest

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The explination of \"Badger baiting\" being a sadistic sport played by victorian society creates an allegory for the distructive tendencies industrialization and other forms of technological expansion have on the natural environment. The glorified retaliation the badger imposes on the poachers and dogs forshadows the law of causality in regards to humans manipulation of nature for industrial means.

| Posted on 2011-03-06 | by a guest

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I thought perhaps the badger was an extended metaphor for Clare himself. He had recently been pursued and pressurised by his editors to write, so perhaps he feels he is the badger being hunted by his editors.

| Posted on 2010-06-07 | by a guest

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Badger baiting was a form of public entertainment in the early 19th century, and this poem is a reflection of the sport.

| Posted on 2010-01-16 | by a guest

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