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Analysis of First Love by John Clare - with all literary devices used by the poet and...

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cyntheacress | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 31, 2012 at 2:58 AM via web

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Analysis of First Love by John Clare - with all literary devices used by the poet and underlying themes within the poem.

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 31, 2012 at 5:03 AM (Answer #1)

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Clare begins with a simile to describe his first impression of his love's appearance-"Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower." He continues to use similes to compare his attempts to speak -"words...spoke as chords do from the string." Of course, chords played on a stringed instrument usually require more than one string in order to sound all the different notes in the chord; since these words were trying to come from eyes that "could not see a single thing," we have to assume that he was too tongue-tied to actually be able to say anything.

This assumption seems to be supported by the conclusion of the poem. His first love hears a "silent voice," that is, she hears nothing. Since she doesn't know of his feelings, she doesn't respond. To the speaker whose heart has been stolen, this lack of response is felt as if it were the cold of winter killing the flowers or snow freezing a lover's bed. His "heart has left its dwelling-place" in silent adoration and unfulfilled love from afar.

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