‘First Love’ by John Clare

I ne’er was struck before that hour
With love so sudden and so sweet,
Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower
And stole my heart away complete.
My face turned pale as deadly pale.
My legs refused to walk away,
And when she looked, what could I ail?
My life and all seemed turned to clay.

And then my blood rushed to my face
And took my eyesight quite away,
The trees and bushes round the place
Seemed midnight at noonday.
I could not see a single thing,
Words from my eyes did start —
They spoke as chords do from the string,
And blood burnt round my heart.

Are flowers the winter’s choice?
Is love’s bed always snow?
She seemed to hear my silent voice,
Not love’s appeals to know.
I never saw so sweet a face
As that I stood before.
My heart has left its dwelling-place
And can return no more.

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53 thoughts on “‘First Love’ by John Clare

  1. John Clare was born in 1793 and brought up in very poor
    circumstances in rural Northamptonshire in England. He was destined
    to become an agricultural labourer but was ‘discovered’ and groomed as a
    writer of very natural poetry. There was something of a cult for ‘untutored’ poets
    at this time, particularly those who were as close to the countryside as Clare was.
    However, there were tensions between him and the more sophisticated literary
    world in London.

    This poem is about his love for Mary Joyce whom he met in his native village.
    She was the daughter of a wealthy farmer who was never going to let the
    relationship develop. He later married another young woman and had a family,
    but their relationship was never particularly happy. In later years, Clare
    became mentally ill and had to be confined in an asylum. One of his delusions
    was that he was Lord Byron, another that he had, in fact, married Mary Joyce
    and his marriage to his real wife was bigamous.

    Is this love?

    1. It can be argued that the title of this misleads the reader into believing it is concerned entirely with the idea of ‘falling in love’. An alternative reading is that it is Clare’s comment on what was a retrospectively a damaging experience for him. The poem is structured seasonally, utilising a semantic field of nature; the use of ‘bloomed’ in the first stanza evokes a sense of spring, then ‘mid-day’ and ‘trees and bushes’ builds upon this by creating a verdant image of summer. However, the final stanza relies on winter imagery, with words such as ‘winter’ and ‘snow’. The semantic implication is of an ultimately unsuccessful romance. Futhermore, the employment of a semantic field of physical threat with images of paralysis, blindness and an inability to speak seem to imply that the love Clare feels is debilitating. As this poem was written after Clare had been admitted to an asylum, it is possible that he is reflecting on the love and obsession which has led him there, and from which he ‘can return no more’.

  2. Andrey Son’s Comment

    The poem “First Love” is about John Clare falling in love for the first time. The poet explains what happens to him when he falls in love for the first time, and how his world and perspective view changes. He tells us what happened to him when he fell in love by saying “I ne’er was struck before that hour with love so sudden and so sweet” which suggests that he has fallen in love at first sight. He also conveys his message to us by saying “My life and all seemed to turn to clay”, which that his life changed and he is now changing into his new self as clay’s properties are that clay can be changed into different shapes. He also tells us how his face turned red by writing “And then my blood rushed to my face”, which suggests that he is in love with a person next to him.

    Andrey this is great!! Your understanding of the ideas inherent in the poem as well as how they are conveyed is good. I love your thoughts on ‘clay’.

  3. From A Nair
    This poem is about just what it says in the title: first love. The first time the speaker ever felt that tug of his heartstrings is described completely in this poem, after he sees her for the first time. The poem is about love at first sight and describes every step of the first love. The poet describes how he was affected, every time he saw her. He is trying to show the difference between love at first site and ordinary love. Clare shows us different steps when you experience love at first sight. “Blood rushed to my face” illustrates that when you experience love at first sight you start to blush and get nervous when you start to talk because you want to show your object of desire how perfect you are.”They spoke as chords do from the string” tells us that the person is trying to sing and show love to the other person.

    Coreachick says:
    Thank you, AN, you have really put in a tremendous amount of effort and it is detailed. I like how you use the quotations here. I wonder if he was trying to sing? Probably not quite, but I think he wishes that his words of desire would flow from his mouth in harmony…?

  4. From Celeste Novembre

    The poem ‘First Love’ is about experiencing young love for the very first time. In the beginning, he mentions, ‘I ne’er was struck before that hour’, telling us that he was hit by cupid’s arrow or suddenly struck in the face when he saw her. The poet is very descriptive, and uses alliteration to give the sentence a soft sound of love, for example: ‘With love so sudden and so sweet’. In the first stanza, he’s describing his lonely existence before he got struck by the love of his life; this is why he used the pronoun ‘I’ to reinforce his solitary existence. In the first stanza he shows an internal monologue, it is as if he is writing down the thoughts that his mind was telling him when he saw her. In the second stanza he starts to describe with more intensity, saying ‘Words from my eyes did start, they spoke as cords do from strings’. This tells us that he heard Cupids, the little angels romantically playing the violin. He was having an immediate connection, speaking to her through his eyes. In the third stanza, by the way the poet writes we can tell a sudden touch of sadness. He writes, ‘Are flowers the winters choice, Is love’s bed as always snow…’ this tells us that the love of his life is giving him the cold shoulder, and that he is in his own winter of love, meaning cold and darkness. At the one of the third stanza he mentions that she took is heart, and can return it no more.

    Clare conveys his message through the rhythm and through the distinct beats of the iambic pentameter. He also expresses his message through all the metaphors used, and the words that describe a certain stage of the poet’s feeling. At the beginning of the stanza, Clare starts by writing down the thought he heard while he saw her. In the second stanza, he describes his feeling and what he felt, like he’s trying to figure out what love is. He explains that ‘Blood burnt round my heart’ when he saw her, giving a sense of strong passion and his heart beating rapidly. As he gets to the last stanza, Clare mentions his loneliness, and how the girl she loves stole his heart.

  5. From Cara Thomson

    This poem is about how lovestruck and dumbstruck he is
    when he sees this women. Clare conveys this message by
    his choice of words, such as struck, sudden and rushed; this
    gives us a sense that this scene happened very quickly and
    unexpectedly. He also conveys this message by his choice of phrases.
    For example, “My face turn pale a deadly pale” suggests he was so shocked
    and confused that he thought he was so in love in an immensely short time.
    He conveys the message of not actually being in deep love but rather love at first
    sight by using a rhyming pattern. The pattern is A, B, A, B –
    C, D, C, D – E, D, E, D – F, G, F, G – H, I, H, I – E, J, E, J.
    This rhyming pattern conjures thoughts of frivolous love.
    Finally, the poet conveys his message by using metaphors
    “Words from my eyes did start /They spoke as cords do from the string”.
    This suggests how he is dumbstruck and his jaw won’t let his mouth speak
    for himself, but his eyes are trying to.

  6. From Se-One

    I believe that Clare does an excellent job explaining to us what first love actually is. In the first stanza, Clare described the first love’s face as ‘pretty as a sweet flower’. I believe this is clever because instead of writing in many other fancy ways, he uses a common simile because the poet is describing FIRST love. In the second stanza, Clare describes how he cannot concentrate on anything but her that his mouth didn’t speak words but his eyes spoke instead. And in the final line, he writes ‘And blood burnt round my heart.’ This gives us a feeling that his heart is feeling very warm due to this new feeling. And finally in the final stanza, last line, he describes how his heart will never go back to the same way after meeting her.

  7. From Abril

    ‘First Love,’ a poem expressing the feelings you get when seeing someone that
    has caught your heart and attention from the distance in less than one second.
    In this poem, the poet is writing about how he felt when he had his very first ‘love
    at first sight’, and he does this by using very easy words in order for the readers to
    understand perfectly the feelings he had inside; he wants to be clear. The poet conveys his message by using lots of metaphors, personification, hyperboles and similes, which will reinforce his ideas and make the ways he expresses stronger, giving us an impact of different feelings. The way the poet is showing all of these makes it easy for us to put ourselves in his situation and therefore, have a better understanding of the reading and the speaker as well.

  8. From Alex

    The poem First love by John Clare is about the sudden feelings and emotions when your first love hits you. It is also about how your first love is not always as you would like it to be. Clare conveys his message by explaining about his feelings and emotions in quite detail. He also uses similes to describe the beauty of the person that he just fell in love with.

  9. From Brian Lok
    “First love” is a poem about love at first sight, and the common symptoms it creates, such as nervousness, blushing and not being able to control yourself. The poet, however, hasn’t created a very unique piece, since the topic isn’t abstract and the word choice isn’t especially sophisticated. Yet, John Clare, expresses his feeling very well by using simple similes and metaphors. He also creates a rhythm and a flow by rhyming words together, creating easy transitions between lines and making it much more enjoyable to read. Repetition is also often seen in this poem. In the first two lines, the write mentions, ‘struck’, ‘sudden’ and ‘sweet’, which all start with an “S”. It is quite ironic, since we think it is to create a “soft” feeling to the line which is contrasted with the hard-hitting ‘struck’, suggesting that love does create a sense of warmth. He goes on to mention sweet two more times. Clare also often exaggerates or “goes over the top”, here is an example “I could not see a thing.” He mentions this in the second stanza where he claims to already have been paralyzed. Obviously, he can’t be blinded by love; though the world could seem a little blurry. Towards the end of the poem, he explains that he’s lost his heart to the girl, and probably can’t love anyone else for a while, and that he has been completely changed by the experience.

  10. From Brian L
    The poem entitled ‘First Love’ is describing to the reader what the
    poet (John Clare) felt when he first laid eyes on a woman that he
    thought was extremely attractive. This poem is focused mainly on
    what the poet feels when he sees love at first sight, both his physical
    reactions and his mental reactions. The poet conveys his message
    by using simple, direct words that are easy to understand, but at
    the same time, explains his feelings in great detail. He also using
    similes, and metaphors to help the reader get a more clear image
    of what he felt when he saw the girl.

  11. From Tom

    This poem is about the poet’s first love, and more specifically, the moment when he met his first love. The poet then mentions that he is full in love with her, which made his heart leave its ‘dwelling-place’ and stay on her heart. This poem extended describes the moment of the first love which makes readers think about that moment more efficiently. John Clare conveys his message by using interrogative sentences, such as line 7, 9, and 10. This is effective because instead of mentioning with normal sentences can less transfer the meaning to the readers, which emphasizes the poet’s thought. Also on the line 8, “My life and all seemed turned to clay”, is really effective, because I think that John Clare was trying to say that when he saw his first love, it seemed like the world stopped a moment. On stanza three, line 5, “I never saw so sweet a face”, and there is a grammatical error. However, the poet used an effect called, “Inversion” and wrote like this to emphasize that his first love’s face was so sweet.

  12. The poem “First Love” by cCare, describes the feeling of love at first sight. The poet brings out strong effect from rhyming pattern throughout the end of every line. However its separated every 2 lines. (ex. A B A B C D C D E F E F, etc) The poet also uses similes and metaphors, giving a good abstract expression of the love at first sight. This is good because everyone has different views and understanding towards the word “love”.

    1. Daniel-somehow this was found in the ‘spam’ section -so my apologies, I have unspammed it 🙂 Thank you Daniel for your o-so-brief comment. I like how you attempt to discuss the theme and explain the rhyme scheme-the next task is to quote lines and support your ideas with evidence from the poems.

  13. From Benedicte

    The poem ‘First love’ is about a man who experiences love at first sight. The feeling of love strikes him in the heart as he sees her. The poet is trying to explain this very complicated feeling by using very simple and well known comparisons and metaphors. The poet also tries to describe the girl’s beauty which made him fall in love with her. He cannot fully describe what it is that makes him strive to get her attention, but all he know and all he needs to know, is that what he feels is love.

  14. From Clarence
    ‘First Love’, is a poem by John Clare which is a description of the feelings which the writer felt when he saw a woman he really liked, felt tremendously in love. Then, how she gave him the cold shoulder, and how he was changed forever after meeting her. He conveys his feelings through similes, comparing inanimate objects to people and alliterations, using the same consonant at the beginning of each stressed syllable in the line of a verse. He also hyperbolises his words, or exaggerating his words and a simple rhyme scheme of ABAB, CDCD and so on. He uses simple words which are easy to comprehend, making it easy for readers to understanding him

  15. 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 is a foreshadowing because he asks himself what wrong could this love do or what pain could it cause, this gives us hints on how the poem will continue into a sadder tone. This stanza mainly talks about how sweet his love was.

    Stanza two refers to the pain he was starting to feel because he couldn’t be with his love. He uses words like “blood” to express that pain. The second line of the this stanza, “took my eyesight away” means that he could no longer see between what was right or wrong to get that love. The fourth line, “seemed midnight at noonday” means that the feeling was very dark; the atmosphere was full of sadness and confusion even if the atmosphere around him was quite light and happy, full of joy. In the fifth line, “I could not see a single thing” means that he was blind, and with more or less the same concept as the second line of this same stanza; he could no longer see between what was good or bad, right or wrong. The sixth line, “words from my eyes did start” means that his eyes gave away his feelings. The last line of the stanza, “and blood burnt round my heart” the poet uses “blood” to reflect on the pain and agony he was going through, the reddish colour of the liquid was used to refer to the passion and love he had, in other words “blood” means the pain in that intense passion and the nostalgic love he was feeling, all in a very negative feeling of rejection and suffering.

    In stanza three, refers to the confusion, doubt and sorrow he was feeling. The poet uses natural symbolism such as “winter” and “snow” to refer to this grieve he was experiencing, he also uses “silent” to add more into that feeling. The first and second lines, end with a question mark, this means he was asking himself why he couldn’t be with the one he loved so much. The third line, “she seemed to hear my silent voice” means that she knew that he was so deeply in love with her. The fourth line, “Not love’s appeals to know” means that even though she knew what he felt, she hadn’t request to know about that love. In other words, she knew from a start he could not be with her, therefore didn’t want to know about what he felt for her. The fifth and sixth line means the he will never be able to see another love as sweet as her. The last two lines mean that his heart has left its place, meaning she was gone; could also be his heart was not there anymore to feel another love; a use of personification. His love had gone and never to come back; love had left him a changed man.

    The poet uses an old fashioned language, which makes the poem have that deep romantic feeling it has between the words. He conveys his message by using lots of metaphors, hyperboles and similes, which will reinforce his ideas and make the ways he expresses stronger, giving us an impact of different feelings. The poet also uses a lot of personification throughout the entire poem, for example: stanza one, sixth line, “My legs refused to walk away” as well as in stanza two, sixth line, “word from my eyes did start” also in stanza three, sixth line, “My heart left its dwelling place”. We can see that the poet uses at least one personification per stanza and mostly in the sixth line of each stanza.

  16. All of these are great answers – and have helped me a lot. I have one concern – how would you analyse it well enough to get an A* at IGCSE?

    1. Hmm, that’s a really difficult question for many reasons. To begin with, it depends on the questions. The * question may not be a poem that is your favourite, so you really have to be prepared to answer Question 2 or 3, and often you are required to write about a couple of poems. Try to devote enough space to both poems, if you decide on this question, and be sure that you actually answer the question, and that your answers are responding to a question rather than a complete regurgitation of all your notes. Do pay attention to the literary devices and how the writer achieves the effects, but do not over do it to the point where you have lost the essence, the meaning of the poem/poet’s intentions.

  17. Are answers only allowed from children in a particular school? Can any other IGCSE/ GCE O Level student answer this? Because I also have a response essay to this and would like to share and get feedback.

  18. In First Love, John Clare depicts the struggles of one who faces unrequited love. He portrays these struggles through the use of rhetorical questions, melancholic tone and confusion of senses. These troubles bring about devastating effects leading to the physical and emotional breakdown of the person who suffers. The reader then gets a sense of the dark side of love.

    Clare proves that not only can this feeling have an effect on one emotionally, but also brings about a physical change. He writes ‘My face turned pale a deadly pale/ My legs refused to walk away’ and through this he is indicating the reader that the sight of the girl shook the persona so remarkably that he was unable to move away. He then writes ‘And then took my eyesight quite away’, and by this he brings around the idea how this love disturbed the persona’s senses as well, leaving him dazed. The overwhelming burst of emotion made ‘blood [rush] to [his] face’, giving the reader an idea that he must have been anticipating an answer from the girl.

    The overwhelming love has crooked the persona’s world view. The listener gets the sense that the persona is confused as his world view seems askew. The poet writes ‘The trees and bushes round the place/ Seemed midnight at noon day’, and this shows his confusion as he likens noon to midnight and as both are contrasting ends of the spectrum of light, being unable to differentiate between the two only proves the persona’s extent of confusion. Clare then writes ‘Words from my eyes did start/ They spoke as chords do from the spring’ which indicates that the persona’s expression of how his senses work is jumbled up as he talks about his eyes speaking, or even singing. The poet then gives the most apparent example of the persona’s confusion when he writes ‘Are flowers the winters choice’, and through this it can be known that he is confusing two mutually exclusive natural happenings, therefore this is the last verification of his descent into despair.

    The poet’s desperation suggests that this love is unrequited. The poet’s use of absolutes refers to the intensity of his emotions and his melancholic tone suggests the unrequited nature of his love. Clare asks rhetorical questions such as ‘Is love’s bed always snow’. As rhetorical questions can not be answered, this is a sign of the persona’s unreturned love. He then writes ‘She seemed to hear my silent voice’ and this also portrays the persona’s unanswered love as the girl can not hear him due to the voice which is ‘silent’. The last lines ‘My heart has left its dwelling place/ And can return no more’ have a melancholic tone which gives a sense of self-pity.

    Clare portrays unrequited love as being destructive through his use of rhetorical questions, melancholic tone and confusion in senses. The persona’s physical and emotional breakdown makes the reader recognize the immense emotion he holds for the girl but the imbalanced love brings about a sense of sympathy from one for the lover. Instead of being able to appreciate the great qualities of love, the reader is left wondering about its negative side, followed by its unpleasant consequences.

  19. These poetry analysis are really great!!! Hope these will help me to get an A for my O/L Cambridge Examinations! Thanyou everyone for contributing their ideas!!!

  20. wow guys inspirational stuff!!!!!!!!!

    U iz well mint lyk my Telfy thinks its mint 2.

  21. first love is a poem about love at first sight. John is deeply infactuated by this woman. This is visible in his description of the womans beauty. in the last stanza, he is admitting that all his emotions could just be misled as he could never be with this woman just as there cannot be flowers in winter.

  22. “The Voice” was Thomas Hardy’s response after the death of his wife. He had felt guilty for not caring enough when she was ill. To relieve himself of his pain, he wrote poetry and we can see his grief and distress from many features of his poem.

    Firstly, the poem begins and ends with the “Woman calling him.” Her voice is like a continuing echo, which creates the sense of longing and desperation. She never lets Hardy go of his misery. Even when Hardy comes to the conclusion (in Stanza 4) that the voice must be the wind mocking him, he is still confused by The Voice. This cycle and continuation shows the difficultly and pain for Hardy to forget her and for him to move on with his life. It is one of the reasons for the confused tone conveyed throughout the poem.

    Secondly, Hardy makes use of various figurative devices to reflect his feelings. Stanza one and two talk about “our fair days”. He uses calm and happy phrases to show their period of love. The Woman’s “air-blue gown” has connotations with summer and the happiness it brings. However, stanza three is completely the opposite. The words “breeze”, “wet mead” and falling leaves all resemble an autumn environment. It creates a negative tone and it is as if Hardy is “dying” along with the plants and life of nature. His soul is distressed by the happy memories they had together.

    Moreover, the Woman is described as if she will “dissolve to wan wistlessness”. This means that she will disappear into air, or continue life as an empty soul. Although Hardy’s memory of her is fading, she still haunts him like an everlasting ghost.

    Furthermore, the alliteration used in stanzas three and four create a contrast of the both situation both Hardy and the Woman was in. Although the alliteration “wan wistlessness” may have negative meanings, but the repetition of the “w” sound can be linked with romanticism. It is like the sound of a flowing river. Hardy’s alliteration of himself is “faltering forward”. The “f” sound, however, is an uncomfortable sound and has rather clumsy connotations. The Woman is living life fine, but Hardy’s life is still a long road he still has yet to overcome.

    Lastly, the structure of the poem is effective in conveying Hardy’s distress. The tone in the beginning two stanzas is slow and cheerful. He starts off by asking a rhetorical question, asking if it is her. Then, he takes his time to reconcile and gape at his memories of their time together. The word “yes” shows his excitement and gaiety. However, the word “Or” quickly changes the tone. It is a sudden turn in structure. He snaps out of his euphoria and ends the stanza using another rhetorical question – but in a totally different tone. He begins doubting his dreams and faces reality. Also, in line four, he used “our day”. In Line 13, it is now “I”. The word I stands out, representing himself, alone and empty.

    In conclusion, Hardy clearly wrote this poem to express his distress and grief. Hardy missed her wife much and although he comes to the conclusion that she’s gone and he should move on, he still yearns for her. For most of the time, the tone is mostly negative and Hardy is confused at what he is doing. One interesting thing to point out is Hardy’s refusal to name the Woman. This could show his refusal to accept her death and that she’s gone. It could also mean that the Woman is no longer her wife and she has disappeared. She isn’t real anymore. That could be the reason why he hears the Voice, because he thinks of her all the time. Her memory will take a long time to “dissolve to wan wistlessness” and Hardy can only “falter forward” with his life.

  23. Explore the ways in which Clare describes the impact his first love had on him.
    The poem “First Love” is a poem written by John Clare, who when he was mentally ill, envisioned that he married his first love. The poem depicts Clare’s initial reactions towards his love, both physical and emotional. Although the poem is named “First Love” and should be happy, Clare mainly focuses on the theme that love will change a person entirely and has unpleasant consequences through figurative language, tone and structure.

    Firstly, Clare uses many forms of figurative language such as metaphors, personifications and hyperboles to show the negative impacts of love throughout the poem. Phrases such as his “face turned pale a deadly pale” and “stole my heart away” show this. Love shocked him as if he was a dead ghost and as if life was taken away from him. He can no longer live. Love has scared Clare and he cannot act normal anymore. Also, “life and all seemed turned to clay” and “took my eyesight quite away” are all negative and depressing too. It is as if love has modeled and destroyed Clare and he cannot see anymore. Clare is not only truly “blinded by love”, but also entirely affected by it too. These pieces of imagery show that the impacts on Clare were enormous and radical, leaving him changed forever, shown by the last line “and can return no more”.

    Secondly, Clare’s tone throughout the poem further emphasizes the negative impacts of love. His choice of lexical fields is negative and depressing. The words “ne’er, winter, refused, blood, deadly, stole, not, burnt, dwelling, struck” are all pessimistic. This helps create the tone of puzzlement and melancholy. Moreover, Clare begins doubting love when he asks questions in the last stanza. The reference to the cold “winter and snow” shows how cold his lover was in response to his emotions. Clare is implying that love is full of deceit and is disheartening. The tone here is despair and sadness as his love is unrequited, reaffirming his stance on love having unpleasant consequences.

    Lastly, the structure of the poem is vital in showing the impact of love on Clare. The first stanza has a steady rhythm. However, the last line in the first stanza is lacking an indent like every other line. This may mean that it is a break in his normal thought. As you read on, the lines get shorter and the syllables per line decrease. This may mean that the unrequited love caused him to be unstable and fall into desolation (from an average of 8 to an average of 7). Furthermore, the whole poem is lacking in punctuation. There are no commas or full stops at the end of each sentence, neither are there question marks at the end of the questions. The only punctuation is the dash at the end of the poem. This shows that Clare is nervous and thinking quickly, not bothering about punctuation. Only at the end does he think properly and come to a conclusion that love is not worth the time.

    In conclusion, Clare shows how terrible love can be if unrequited. For most of the poem, Clare seems confused and shocked, not knowing what to do. He has clearly been disappointed with his first love and his use of tone and changing rhythm in the poem further emphasizes this. It is interesting to note the constant rhyme scheme of the poem, perhaps it is Clare trying to make the poem seem happy and song-like, an effort to cheer himself up, despite the hard comings that have “struck” his “heart” in his first love.

  24. this stuff is damn helpful,it gives one the eyes to see a poem in different forms and versions!hope it will help me get a distinction in the final exams!!!!!!!!!!

  25. The rhyming scheme reflect his heart beat, and as the lines shorten it shows that his heart beat accelarates. Is this a good analysis of the rhyming scheme and pattern ?

  26. First love by john Clare is a romantic poem.Clare is writing about his ‘First love’,Mary Joyce.in the first stanza Clare informs the reader that he was never struck before this hour and this shows us that Mary was his first love.The next few lines that follow are describing why he fell in love with her,he states that she was very beautiful ‘her face it bloomed like a flower’.Clare describes what happened to him and these are signs of being nervous which indicates that he loved her deeply’my face turned pale,a deathly pale’.John Clare never spoke to her but says there was chemistry ‘words from my eyes did ail’ but she did not return his love ‘she did not seem to hear my silent voice’.it shows us that it was unrequinted love.Clare informs us that he was rejected by asking ‘is loves bed so cold?’.I feel very sympathetic for Clare because he still had delusiond that he had maried Mary Joyce,he also ended his own life.At the end of the poem Clare says ‘my heart has left its dwelling place and can return no more’,this means Mary has taken his heart away and she will be the only woman he will(would) have ever loved 🙂

  27. Hello!
    I’m working on this poem for my exams in France, and I would like to know when did John Clare write the poem?

  28. Explore the ways in which Clare describes the impact his first love had on him.
    The poem “First Love” is a poem written by John Clare, who when he was mentally ill, envisioned that he married his first love. The poem depicts Clare’s initial reactions towards his love, both physical and emotional. Although the poem is named “First Love” and should be happy, Clare mainly focuses on the theme that love will change a person entirely and has unpleasant consequences through figurative language, tone and structure.clare became very descriptive when he said “Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower” meaning that the appearance of the woman was full of beauty that he could not control himself like he said “My life and all seemed turned to clay.” he still emphasis that real nature of the woman made him speechless but his eyes showed he had words. he was delightful that he sweet melody around him, but it seemed like the feeling just vanished and the woman was gone. sadness!

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    Fabric iss very important for chairs and sofa sets annd other products.
    Choosing purple for walls,carpet or fuurniture promotes well being.

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