John Clare was a poor agricultural labour born in England, 1793, however he was later discovered for his talent in writing poems and he spent the rest of his life writing powerful, natural poems. The poem “First Love” was written by John Clare around 1800′s about his first love, Mary Joyce. She was the daughter of a wealthy farmer, who forbade John from seeing Mary. John Clare eventually married in 1820, the same year that he published his first book of poems. But soon stress and depression overtook John Clare and he was admitted to a mental asylum in 1837. He had become delusional, and imagined himself to have married Mary Joyce. John Clare spent the rest of his life in the mental asylum and eventually died in 1864.
This poem generally refers to the first love John Clare had, how he didn’t manage to stay with that love. The poet mainly talks about how tragic he had felt about love; the first love that had no future. He also describes the painful experience he had when he mentions words such as “blood” which symbolizes the agony and all the suffering he passed through. This poem, as we can see, is an irregular poem because it starts off with a happy feeling about love, how it can impact us and make us feel joy. Then, it gets blood-stained with sorrow and pain, since he cannot be with her; it shows us the agony felt when our first love cannot come to be. Afterwards, he starts to question why and states that he will never love again; shows us the loneliness when that love is gone and can’t come back again.
Stanza one refers to the happiness and joy he felt when he had seen and met that new love. The first line unites itself to the title, because the poet mentions: “I ne’er was struck before that hour”, this means he had never felt such a feeling before; this refers to the title as first love, since it was the first time he felt it. He uses a bit of foreshadowing in the 7th line, which says, “And when she looked; what could I ail?”, the last part of this line...
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