Love

Analysis of John Clare's poetry on the theme of love.

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  • Created by: R_S_E
  • Created on: 01-04-14 15:01
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  • Love
    • SONG: 'SAY WHAT IT LOVE'
      • Illusive love
        • "Tis like a sunbeam on the mist"
          • Simile: love is a dreamlike allusion, so intangible it is hard to prove real
        • "A rose leaf on the page of fame"
          • Fragility of love (pun)
      • Uncertainty of love
        • "In prison still and still be free"
          • Antithesis demonstrating the paradoxical nature of love
          • Love entraps and controls you but is worthwhile
        • "Does real love on earth exist?" / "Say what is love?"
          • Use of refrain / questioning portrays Clare's inability to understand or define love
      • Transience of love
        • "That blooms, then fades - to cheat no more"
          • Caesura = Clare's disjointed thoughts over love = Clare is trying but can't answer the Q
          • Metaphor demonstrating love' fleeting nature (and how Clare feels cheated by it)
    • BALLAD: 'I DREAMT NOT WHAT IT WAS TO WOO'
      • Nature linked to love
        • 'Till Robin dropped a word or two"
          • Personified first as an advisor then a suitor and finally the damaging force of love
        • "Last evening on the moor"..."He saw me to the town"
          • Antithesis of meeting on a moor (security of solitude where love can be challenged to the town) = symbolic of the journey through love
      • Nature as a destabilising force
        • "felt my heart secure"
          • Metaphor: Hasn't opened up to love yet - if you don't open to love you can leave behind the insecurity which comes with it
        • "It bruised my heart and left a pain"
          • Now the 'Robin' has opened her up to love she can be hurt
          • Metaphor: conveys the pain that love can cause - security of not loving is lost
      • Untypical of Clare
        • Women's POV
          • 'his'
            • Perspective of  a woman being courted
        • Man is self-assured
          • 'We shall meet again'
            • Direct speech = confident lover
    • SONG: 'THE MORNING MIST IS CHANGING BLUE'
      • Nature linked to Love
        • "Her face was smiling like the sun" / "as bonny as the morning"
          • Similes which idealise her beauty
          • Natural imagery conveys the intensity of first love
        • "The morning mist is changing blue"
          • Colour imagery here symbolic of the transition between ambiguity and clarity and prepares us for the maid, reflective of the shock of love
          • Early mist dissipating as the sun warms the air
        • "All nature in her sweetest dress" (+ 'waving', 'ran', 'raving')
          • Personification: maiden making the environment beautiful with her presence
          • Personification: implies the narrator's feelings for her are pure and good
          • Past tense - still vivid in the narrator's mind
      • Beauty of Love
        • "Her bosom swelled; a treasure"
          • Metaphor: narrator covets the maiden for her beauty
          • Caesura - reflective of the way he stopped and paused when he saw her beauty
        • three octaves and each employs iambic tetrameter: song like feel / reflect the pulsation of the heart
      • Pain of love
        • "I felt both pain and pleasure"
          • Use of 'I' (lyric) personalises the poem making it more emphatic
            • Knows he cannot have her?
          • Paradox of conflicting feelings - more optimistic here
          • Alliteration cements the relationship between the pleasure and pain in love
    • SONG: 'LOVE LIVES BEYOND'
      • Eternal love
        • "Love lives beyond / The tomb - the earth - that fades like dew"
          • Metaphor of the earth of a grave = passing nature
          • Simile of 'dew': subtle fading / temporary
          • Repeated in last stanza = main theme
      • Love and nature
        • "'Tis seen in flowers.... And in the heaven's eternal blue"
          • Love as an agent of nature and spiritual force = list
        • "I love the fond, / The faithful, YOUNG, and true"
          • End of first and last stanza: addition of 'young' connects directly with images of spring in the poem
            • Spring is a 'young' time of year that like love, is full of birth and regeneration
    • Untitled
    • LOVE & MEMORY
      • Beauty of Love
        • "When youth seemed immortal /... Heaven's halo around thee"
          • Metaphorical: she is blessed / touched by grace and seems 'immortal' for a time = tragedy
        • "As bud green in Spring / As a rose blown in June"
          • Symbolic of hope and intrinsic beauty - but they only enjoy a short life and will soon perish
        • "too fair / For earth's tenants of clay"
          • Metaphor: transcendental in her beauty and spirit - undermined by contrasting images of fragility / mortality
            • "As bud green in Spring / As a rose blown in June"
              • Symbolic of hope and intrinsic beauty - but they only enjoy a short life and will soon perish
      • Failure of love
        • Untypical of Clare as it is the death of a lover not a relationship
        • "Now joy's cup is drained / And hope's fountain is dry"
          • Personification = grief + both images imply draught / baroness as if the women was Clare's only source of life
        • "I mix with the living"
          • Melancholy - life itself is a punishment without her
      • Winter / May = fair decays whilst old live on = injustice

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