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Compare and contrast "First Love" by John Clare and "Long Distance" by Tony Harrison.

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"First Love" by John Clare and "Long Distance" by Tony Harrison After having read a selection of poems from Best Words, I have decided to write about two. "First Love," by John Clair and "Long Distance," by Tony Harrison. Booth of these poems have a central theme of love but in two different ways. 'First Love' is a powerful poem about the feelings that Clair had towards a young and very attractive woman who was the daughter of a wealthy farmer. Clair knew he would never be able to get this woman due to the class system of that time. Clair grew up in extreme poverty and he worked the land from the age of seven. Due to his background his health both physically and mentally began to fail him as he hit middle age. He suffered from many delusions and the last year of his life where spent in an asylum. From examining the poem in greater depth I can see Clair's clever use of language. ...read more.


My heart has left its dwelling-place And can return no more. After having read this poem by Clair I have begun to relies that falling in love to a beautiful woman will not always to nice. Love can hurt people and in Clair's case causes him to break down. This poem made me feel almost sorry for Clair because of him coming from such a bad background and ending up dieing with nothing at all because of one attractive young woman. The second poem I have decided to write about is 'Long Distance' by Tony Harrison. This poem is from a sequence of different poem Harrison wrote to come to terms with the death of his parents. Like 'First love' this poem is about love, but this kind of love is the kind you have to a very close family members like your parents or grandparents not someone you would have a relationship with. This poem if powerful for everyone because it deals with an issue than we all will have to face in our lives or have faced already. ...read more.


The final stanza has shown that Harrison is no different from his dad when it comes to grieving for a loved one. The first two lines though, give the impression that Harrison is mocking his father and fell he as act ridiculous. 'I believe life ends in death,' and ' You haven't both gone shopping;'. Both of these lines give you the opinion that Harrison as no respect for his father but the final lines of the poem, and the most powerful shows that even though he belief life ends in death he still does things his father did. In my new black leather phone book there's your name And the disconnected number I still call. I believe both poems are written very well. They both give two powerful views on love. I prefer Harrison's 'Long Distance' as it has started me thinking how I shall act when my loved ones die and it is a poem all people can relate to. Jack Park 9069 English ...read more.

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