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First Love by John Clare Essay

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First Love by John Clare

How do different poets convey the idea of Love?

“First Love” by John Clare was written in the 19th century. It is a
poem about how the poet had fallen in love but it turned out it was
unrequited. Whereas “Song” by W.H.Auden written in the 20th century,
is a poem about how someone has been in love but then lost them to
death. They are both quite similar in the fact that they are both
about loving someone but not being able to have them. However they are
different because “Song” is about two people having been in love and
then losing it, rather than “First Love” in which the love is
unrequited, and not being fulfilled.

In the poem “First Love” by John Clare the poet writes about what
seems to be a very overwhelming feeling.

The poem is written in three stanzas and in each one the feelings
develop. It has a rhyme structure of AB,AB, CD, CD etc. The first
stanza has eight syllables in each line and the other two have a
pattern of 8,6,8,6,8,6,8,6. I think it may be written like this
because in the first stanza the feeling are simpler and then they get
more complex as the poem progresses- like the syllable patterns.

In stanza one the crush begins. He sees her and is suddenly struck by
her beauty-

“Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower.”

This simile is saying that her face opened up and revealed something
beautiful just like a flower does. It brings the image of spring to
mind because flowers blooming are associated with it.

The poet describes never having felt this way before- hence the title
“First Love”.

“I ne’er was struck before that hour

With love so sudden and so sweet.”

It suggests that he was surprised that it happened so quickly. It
seems that it w...


... middle of paper ...


...in “Song” the poet writes about the man he loved but can’t have
because he died. They are both quite sad poems.

The main differences are the love in “Song” can’t occur because
someone has died, whereas in “First Love” both people are alive it is
just either one sided love, or not allowed. From looking into John
Clare’s history I found out that he was not allowed to marry the girl
he loved, because she was a better class that him. Also “Song”
concentrates very much on the bad bits, whereas “First Love” reflects
on some of the good feelings the poet has had because of love.

Personally I preferred “Song” by W.H.Auden because it felt more
meaningful. Although I did like “First Love” it didn’t touch me as
much. I think I learnt a lot from both poems, it taught me that love
can be very painful and everyone suffers because of it at some time in
their life.


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