I fell in love with Milton's Paradise Lost, which I read sitting on a log in the middle of a beechwood during the blissful intervals between exams in 1954. I also read and reread Eliot's Four Quartets. It took me a lot longer to discover Arthur Clough. I started reading him in the 1980s, because my neighbour on Boars Hill, Maud Rosenthal, asked me as a forestry graduate to look into the health of 'Matthew Arnold's Tree', the focus of his poem Thyrsis, which is supposed to be in memory of his friend Clough. Actually I found it a very poor memorial. The little it says about Clough makes him sound like a failure, especially as it casts Arnold himself as Corydon, the shepherd poet who defeated Thyrsis in a singing match in Vergil's eclogue. In fact he saw the wrong tree (poem attached).
Clough turned out to interest me much more than Arnold, and he became my favourite poet. Not only does he have many striking and memorable passages, but I seem to have relived much of his life 120 years later - except that he died at the age of 42. He has come to interest a lot of other people too. A dozen books have been written about his life and work, plus one just on the work and half a book shared with Gerard Manley-Hopkins. There have been no less than eight books of selections from his poems, and Persephone books have just brought out a lovely edition of his Amours de Voyage. I attach an article accepted for publication in Victorian Poetry in winter 2013.
I also attach some bits of verse written in the last few years.