I am going to study three love poems. The first one is called First Love
by John Clare
How does poet’s writing before 1900 use language to write about
different types of love? Consider three love poems, two of which must
be by the same poet.
In this piece of coursework I am going to study three love poems. The
first one is called “First Love” by John Clare; this poem is a very
simple, sweet poem about a mans first love of his life. The second is
called “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning; this poem is about the
Duke telling his servant about his last wife, this poem is a poem
about obsessive love. The third poem is called “Porphyria’s Lover”
also by Robert Browning; this poem is about a man being suspicious
enough to murder his love with her hair. This poem is a psychotic
poem. Throughout this coursework I will be investigating the poem’s
vocabulary, structure and imagery.
Firstly, I am going to explore the poems vocabulary. The vocabulary in
“First Love” by John Clare is very simplistic and sweet, much like
what you would find in a valentines card. The nouns found in this
poem, like ‘flower’ is just one example of the simplicity that this
poem has in it. Even simple adjectives have been included in this
poem; there are more words to describe other than “pale”, more complex
words could have been used. Clare could have used words like bloodless
or cadaverous which are more complex but mean the same as pale.
Although the vocabulary in “First Love” is very simple the vocabulary
in “My Last Duchess” is a lot more obsessive. In the poem Clare put
forward that no one else has seen the portrait “strangers never read
that painted countenance” plus he had a very negative view over the
entire positive things about her personality too easily impressed this
shows that the Duke is a jealous man and was angry enough to kill her.
Whereas the vocabulary in “My Last Duchess” is very obsessive,
vocabulary in “Porphyria’s Lover” is possessive and also Porphyria’s
lover is very suspicious of Porphyria. “Lake whipped up by the wind”,
“Cold room”, and “Sullen wind” are all examples/indications of the
menacing love Porphyria’s lover has for Porphyria. Porphyria enters
the room and looks like she has come in from a storm, which she has,
but Porphyria’s lover makes it sound different. “Her cloak is
dripping”. Porphyria’s lover once referred to Porphyria as “mine,
mine”, this shows his obsession with Porphyria and shows that he only
feels happy when Porphyria is all his.
When her own hair murders Porphyria, Porphyria’s lover says he has her
love all to himself at last. He doesn’t feel guilty about what he had
done “God has not said a word”.
Secondly, I am going to investigate the sentence structure of all
three of the poems.
Looking at the sentence structure of “First Love”, the sentences are
very short and simple, “I never saw, so sweet a face, as that I stood
before” but there are aw few complex sentences...