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First Love

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First Love-John Clare Intro: First Love was written by John Clare in the 19th Century. The poem is about the character falling in love for the first time. Stanza 1: * In the first stanza the character talks about the fact that he cannot take his eyes off this beautiful woman. * The first stanza has a very romantic theme following the first encounter and the significance in the poem. This is explained in the first line, 'I ne'er was struck before that hour' where the character was almost shocked when he first saw this person. * There is also a description of the girl's appearance in line 3. Clare says that 'her face bloomed like a sweet flower', he also talks about the character being besotted by this woman. Stanza 2: * The second verse conveys the character's emotions and then describes his emotions from the break up with his lover. * In the second stanza, the character realises that the lady doesn't have the same feeling for him. * We get the impression that the character becomes angry and is filled with rage. ...read more.


This is from the fifth line 'I never saw so sweet a face . We get a clear indication that this person has only seen the girl from the outside because he never mentions her personality. Themes: * The first stanza's basic themes are romance, feelings and emotions. * But in the second, the theme has changed as we see signs of anger due to the fact that this woman might not love him. This is portrayed in the first line of the second verse 'and blood rushed to my face'. We read in the last line 'and blood burnt round my heart' that this person's heart is broken. * The third stanza however is different where the pace is slower due to the theme of depression. There are references of coldness and winter in the first few lines of this verse. The rhetorical questions in this stanza 'Are flowers the winter's choice? And 'Is love's bed always snow?' also give us the indication that this character is questioning himself about what he needed to do to save the relationship . ...read more.


This signifies that in Clare's everyday life, he will have lost the will to love anybody else, because this particular woman took his heart, she will have his heart forever; he therefore cannot be healed. He will be scarred for life. t Clare uses more direct vocabulary and gives a true sense of the reality of being in love. Structure: * The rhyming structure of AB AB CD CD. The first stanzas have 8 syllables per line whilst the other 2 follow the pattern of 8 syllables then 6 syllables and so on. Structure: In "First Love" there are three stanzas, signifying something uneven, like unrequited love Clare's poem uses a diary form, in that he appears to be pouring his heart onto paper. This is a strength of the poem because one can really feel his emotions. Literary Devices and Effects: Message/Purpose: * I believe that Clare is implying that there is such a thing as love at first sight, however, this does not mean that the relationship will last as love is two-way thing. We get the impression that to truly love someone, you need to know them inside and out. ...read more.

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