Compare Themes of "Love and Loss" from "When we two Parted" by Lord Byron and "first Love" by John Clare

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Explore the themes of “love and Loss’ and how they are expressed in the poems “When we two parted” by Lord Byron and “first Love” by John Clare.


“When we two parked” by Lord Byron and “First Love” by John Clare both deal with love that was once dear and is lost. While “When we two parked” is about the unhappy end of a clandestine romance, “First Love” is about unrequited love.

The title of “When we two parked” is direct and provides a glimpse of Byron’s feeling of heartbreak, despair and desolation. Reiterated in the first line, it lends the poem a tone of sadness and melancholy.

The words “First Love” summons a feeling of innocence and naïveté, the poet has never been in love before and is doomed to get his heart broken. His title lends a tone of hope, which is ultimately crushed, making it an ironic title.

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The regular ‘ABABCDCD’ rhyming scheme of both these poems lends a feeling of constant loss and desolation. Enjambment is used to mirror the chaos of the poet’s feelings, in “When we two parked”. “First Love” has punctuation marks after almost every line, mirroring the poet’s innocence.

Both the poems use vivid imagery of cold. “First Love” uses ‘snow’ and ‘winter’ to mirror desolation after the first exhilaration of love; and the snow symbolises the death of the poet’s love. “When we two parked” uses ‘chill’ and ‘dew’ to explore the feelings of betrayal and tears.

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The writer of this essay could clearly have made a much better job of it. Sentence construction, phrasing and lexis demonstrate a high standard of achievement, but the essay is marred by many small mistakes and offhand statements unsupported by references to the texts. It is also much too short for an essay comparing two major poems. Paragraphs are too short on the whole - some which are on the same theme could be combined. With more application and dedication to the task, this writer could easily have achieved 5 stars. 3 stars