What techniques does John Clare use in the poem "First Love" to effectively portray his emotions to the readers?
In the first two lines, the speaker claims how "struck" he was with his first love. Clare uses alliteration in the second line to give his emotion upon being struck a singing quality. The repetition of the "s" in this line also emphasizes the significant words "sudden" and "sweet." He uses two similes to illustrate the experience of being so overwhelmed that he loses all feeling and can't seem to move his body. His face "turned pale as deadly pale" and his "life and all seemed turned to clay." Similes often use "like" or "as" to make comparisons but other words such as "seem" also are used in making similes.
In the second stanza, still overcome with emotion, he feels like he's lost his sight. Using another simile, he says that, with the loss of sight, the trees and bushes "seemed midnight at noonday." Clare then uses what is called synesthesia. This is when a writer blends or confuses senses. In this case, Clare uses sight and sound to make an evocative point that his eyes are trying to communicate the beauty of what he is seeing:
Words from my eyes did start—They spoke as chords do from the string,