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First Love PowerPoint Presentation

First Love

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First Love

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  1. First Love By John Clare

  2. Rhyme Scheme 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 – A B A B C D C D A B A B C D C D A B A B C D C D The rhyme goes ABABCDCD

  3. Background • "First Love" was written by John Clare, 1793-1864, about his true first love, Mary Joyce. • John Clare married another woman, Martha Turner in 1820. • Stress and depression overtook 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 wrote over 3500 poems, about 400 of which were published during his lifetime.

  4. First stanza 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

  5. second stanza 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

  6. THIRD stanza 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 –

  7. miscellaneous • The poem focuses mostly on the emotional wound the woman has caused the poet, rather than on his love for the woman or the woman herself. • His lover is only directly described two times- both times described as having a sweet face. • The only punctuation (apart from two apostrophes) in the entire poem consist of a dash at the end of the poem.

  8. Themes • The power of a woman’s beauty • The destructiveness nature of unrequited love

  9. Possible exam questions