The Meaning of First Love by John Clare

The Background
"First Love" is a romantic poem written by John Clare. The poem was published among other poems of his in 1820. He also got married to his lovely wife, Martha Turner in the same year. Clare published up to 5 books on poetry during the period. He had a first love, Mary Joyce to whom the poem was addressed to. He hoped to reunite with the lady but couldn’t since he was unable to find her anymore. Here you will find the meaning of the poem first love by john clare.

The Structure
The poem first love is written in a romantic pattern with perfect romantic rhyme and rhythm. It consists of 6 quatrains. The poet used several metaphors, smiles, symbols and other literary devices in conveying his message.

The Meaning
The poem is all about John Clare’s first lover, Mary Joyce. He met the lady when he was only 10 years old. Mary was the daughter of a wealthy farmer. Her father barred her from meeting with Clare, a poor laborer. Clare felt a sense of separation from his first love. He later came up with this poem just to remember her first love after many years of the separation.

The poem recalls John Clare’s experience of falling in love for the very first time. Actually, this first love of his was not returned or appreciated. The lady’s father didn’t allow her daughter to mingle with the poor Clare. He was never allowed to come close to his lover let alone touching her. The poet describes his full passion and emotion for his first love. He remained madly in love with the woman despite the opposition posed her father.
In all, romantic love was the major theme of the poem. It portrays what happens in a man’s life when he falls in love for the very first time.

First Love" is a romantic poem written by John Clare. It explores the theme of falling in love for the first time.