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John Clare "First Love" English Coursework John Clare (1793 - 1864) John Clare was born to a poor labouring family in Northamptonshire

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John Clare "First Love" English Coursework John Clare (1793 - 1864) John Clare was born to a poor labouring family in Northamptonshire. His education did not extend much beyond basic reading and writing, and he had to start work herding animals at the age of seven. This was not a promising start for a future writer, but in his early teens he discovered The Seasons by James Thomson and began writing poems himself. His first love, Mary Joyce, was the daughter of a wealthy farmer; their separation caused Clare great pain, and it contributed to the sense of loss which pervades much of his poetry. First Love is one the famous love poems of our time. The fact that it is a male wrote this is extraordinary because you rarely see men writing such poems. ...read more.


At the beginning of the first line in the third stanza "Are flowers the winter's choice?" the speaker has been damaged and hurt through exposing himself. The speaker has now realised that things didn't turn out quite as well as he thought. The theme therefore contains the pain caused by love and adds to the sense of loss and hurtfulness the poem involves. His love has taken him to another level of understanding. It is also sadness and the completely overwhelming nature of his experience and stresses that this is something he can never recover from which is showed by this sentence "My heart has left its dwelling place /and can return no more". He has been changed and displaced and this man is never going to be the same again. From the Form and structure of the poem we can see that straight away that they were never together, never made for each other in the first place because the way that each second line is indented confirms the one sided love. ...read more.


You can also see some distinctive changes between each stanza. In the first stanza he sees and loves her, also describes his feelings. The second stanza he finds out her understanding and her response, finally the last stanza he describes the pain he is going through. Also the image of his face "as deadly as pale" contrasts with her face "bloomed like a sweet flower". The poem encourages the reader to relate to the experience he describes. John Clare uses specific verbs like rushed, struck, and stole which are powerful verbs that he has chosen. This poem is written in a very straight forward way with simple, uncomplicated vocabulary which emphasis the vulnerability of the speaker. The themes in this poem are love, loss, and pain caused by love. He loves her truly but his love is not returned as he wishes and will never be the same again and everything he sees will now be different. By RESHAN SELVARATNAM ...read more.

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