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Analysis of First Love by John Clare

Jana, Kateryna, Olivia

fisOK students

on 23 November 2011

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Transcript of Analysis of First Love by John Clare

by Kateryna, Jana and Olivia Analysing First Love by John Clare 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 a 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 noon day
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 winters choice
Is love's bed always snow
She seemed to hear my silent voice
Not loves 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-


1 "I ne'er was struck before that hour" "struck"=painful +powerful
overwhelming emotions
did not expect to experience such deep love
"ne'er"= so stunned he can't speak "With love so sudden and so sweet
Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower" change in voice -> more romantic, less traumatic sounding
"face...bloomed like a sweet flower" -> similie
blooming face= still young, pink or blushing
"sweet flower"=> flowers: colorful, pretty...sweet smell, innocence
"sweet" used 2 times to emphasize her beauty
alliteration of "so sudden; so sweet" (s): rolls off tongue
assonance: "sweet"-> quick-> shows the unexpected deepness of love
First Love by John Clare 9 And then my blood rushed to my face "and stole my heart away complete" "Complete" = deep love "My face turned pale a deadly pale
My legs refused to walk away" "deadly" = shocked
he can't "walk away", because he canot stop looking at her; he can't stop being in love with her "And when she looked what could I ail
My life and all seemed turned to clay" first contact, love at first sight
"life and all": everything
"clay": can be molded and change to fit something
"what could I ail" why she is looking at him, "what could be wrong with him?" John Clare
"And then my blood rushed to my face"
"And took my eyesight quite away"

"The trees and bushes round the place"
"Seemed midnight at noon day"

"I could not see a single thing"
"Words from my eyes did start"

"They spoke as chords did from a string"
"And blood burned around my heart"
2 3 "Are flowers the winters choice"
"Is love's bed always snow"

"She seemed to hear my silent voice"
"Not loves appeals to know"

"I never saw so sweet a face"
"And as I stood before"

"My heart had left its dwelling place"
"And can return no more - " 13 July 1793 – 20 May 1864

Son of an english farm labourer

Fell in love with Mary Joyce, but her dad forbade her to meet him

Married Martha Tuner in 1820

First book "Rural Poetry" published in 1820, very popular

Popuarity faded during 1830s: financial crisis

Financial worries and critisism caused for him to be admitted to a mental hospital in High Beach in 1837.

He escaped from the asylum in 1841 and went back to Northamptonshire.

A few months later he entered the General Asylum in Northamptonshire where he spent the rest of his life. "blood rushed" = blushing, nervous,
"eyesight quite away" = loveblind "trees and bushes" = they are in a park or outside
"midnight at noon day" = metaphor, dark and black
can barely see anything, focusing on her only really dark-> looking at her for very long time
eyes showed emotions, eye contact with the lady: trying to get a message across "as chords from a string" = simile,
harmonic, melody, a constant string of
words or emotions trying to be sent across
"burned" = intense, painful: pain that maybe she won't return or respond to his deep love
The lady is again described as a flower and
he relates himself to the winter -> should he choose
to try and go after her: flowers in winter die- would their relationship die? Is that why he (winter) does not have a choice to have her (flowers)
"snow"=cold, uncomportable to lie on +white-> not romantic : "love's bed" -> is love always cold and uncompfortable as their's is?
opposite of eachother
"silent voice" ="words from his eyes" or "words he is writing"
"seemed"= no conversation, no real meeting
"Not loves appeals to know"= even love doesn't want to know-> fear of rejection

"never" = never felt such deep love
"sweet" : again emaphasized to show her beauty and how he hadn't expected to feel sweet and so filled with lovey-dovey feelings when looking at her
she stole his heart and he knows that he will always love her and that his love will last forever -> (Poet's life: while in the asylum he had halucinated that they (his "first love" Mary Joyce and Clare ) had married, while he was actually (unhappily) married to Martha Tuner
Unfinished sentence to show that his love will never end

Thank you
your Attention Possible Themes love at first sight is possible, but not a guarantee for a life together
love can happen in any situation and be long lasting even without a meeting
looks are important when it comes to love, even without knowing what is underneath
Full transcript