Analysis of First Love by John Clare

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First love is a poem, which encapsulates the experience the poet has falling in love for the first time. It is rejoicing the love he attained for a woman named Mary Joyce however there is sadness and a feeling of dissatisfaction hovering in the background. This feeling exists, as the love was unrequited. The poem has an underlying tone of innocence and flurry of emotions as it is the poets very first attempt at love exhibiting his feelings for Mary. The opening of the first stanza only shows how sudden and unexpected the feeling was as he was never ‘struck before that hour’. This is followed my sibilance alliteration ‘ so sudden and so sweet’ further emphasizing on the shock and bewilderment of the overwhelming feeling confirming it is a new experience. He uses his ‘heart’ as a symbol that she has ‘stolen’ completely ‘away’ however unknowingly. The paragraph continues to describe how he physically felt ill as his ‘face turned pale a deadly pale’. Generally when a person falls in love the first instinct is that the ‘blood [is] rushed‘ to the face, which occurs as a latter reaction. This could be because he probably already sensed that the love could not be returned as he didn’t say anything to her instead he hoped that his eyes would convey the message ‘words from my eyes did start’. He never came close to even touching or talking to her however the line ‘all seemed to turn to clay’ conveys the strong affection he attained for her. He also shows how the woman is in control of their (hallucinated) relationship as she could mould and re-mould him as per her wish. In the second stanza he goes on to describe more of his emotions brought forward by this interaction. He makes it quite visual for us of how the love has its affect on him and how he flushes with embarrassment so much that for a moment he feels blind. The physical impact of love relates the experience of love and loss. His life, his emotions were all now just focused on this one girl so much so that it...
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