Summary Of First Love By Elice Clare

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In the poem ‘First Love’, since the poet Clare uses 1st person in his writing, we could assume he’s talking about his own experience and which in this poem is about his ‘first love’.

At the beginning of the poem, Clare gives us a pessimistic thought about love as he uses words such as ‘struck’, ‘sudden’ and ‘stole’ to convey love in a violent manner. These words intimate love has hit him hard and he has fallen in love with Mary Joyce (his first love) at first sight. The word ‘stole’ suggests how involuntary it was as he was struck hence his love was stolen, not given. However, the word ‘sweet’ suggests us something different. Falling in love as a violent act suddenly becomes sweet to Clare. This emphasizes the passion and intensity of his first love as it cured the pain of the struck into sweetness within seconds.

Deeply in love, Clare uses simile to describe Mary Joyce as beautiful as a ‘sweet flower’ regardless of his ‘deadly pale’ face. The contrast between this two imageries insinuates that love can be sweet but at the same time brings death since it changes Clare’s physical appearance into ‘deadly pale’. The repetition of ‘pale’ understates how powerful love can cause physical pain and changes on the body of his. Not only Clare 's face, his first love also affects his eyesight as everything went black even at daytime; words were coming from his eyes in place of his mouth; his blood 'burnt ' his own heart. This implies love is dark, pernicious and it can cause acute
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