This essay shall describe and how the theme of love was variously treated throughout the poems that have been studied. Love can take many forms; romantic love is version that is often stereotyped, though it does more or less have a self-explanatory name, it can contain a deep and meaningful emotions and expressions. Love at first is another form of love. This is heavily featured in the poem First Love. This form of emotion is a varying type of feeling.
It can often include two people seeing each other and falling in love, or in the case of the person in First love it can contain a person overcome with emotion and affection but with no love being returned. The types of love that have just been described can be labelled as positive love. Another form of love is negative love. This is the opposite of positive love and often has a stronger content and sometimes worse consequences. Negative love is the description of love that is cold and dark, and contains self-centred feelings, where as positive love can describe an emotion of true love, shared and kind feelings that are patient and caring.
Most conventional love poetry is often stereotyped. Some readers may assume that the poem will have a content that can come across as plain and wet, the reader may be deceived to think that there will be a uninteresting theme that has only a certain amount of sentimental value. This, fortunately, is not always the case. Love poetry is often deep and meaningful scripture, where feelings seep out of the words and the sentences have the capability to form detailed visual images inside the reader’s imagination. The poetry can create, alter or recall memories of the reader’s past love experiences.
That is another reason why love poetry is so popular; as the reader is able to reflect on the poem with first hand experiences. Petrach is a poet whose poetry not only was recognised by the whole of the European world but also created its own category and form of love poetry. The poems showed how his immense feelings towards the women he loved. His writing expressed the way he would worship the women and his love was like an illness, creating havoc in his emotions. The torment that he went through due to the unrequited love he would expose. Petrach would often compare his feelings and emotions to natural Things in similes and metaphors.
This would give the reader a visual comparison to how Petrach was thinking. The three poems that were studied were: First Love by John Clare, Porphyria’s Lover by Robert Browning and My Last Duchess. John Clare’s poem on First Love is a strong poem underneath its conventional shell. First Love is a poem of true love at first sight; it is how a man can be completely paralysed by the power and strength of love. The gives detailed description and impressive metaphors and it lets the reader feel the highs and lows of being in love. The reader may be deceived the way the poem is written.
It has a lot of imagery to do with nature;” Her face it bloomed like a flower. ” Similes like this are often found in conventional poems and are textbook forms of descriptive writing. The poem uses shallow metaphors that have little strength, such as:” My love is a red rose. ” Despite these small talk style metaphors that contain little substance, the poem has words of deep meaning and feeling. John Clare writes strong sentences, which give detailed descriptions of how John Clare is feeling. In the first stanza John Clare introduces the poem by showing his passionate, positive feelings for the woman.
He describes the physical and natural effects on him and says how they start to take over. The effects on him are what the reader would expect from this kind of poem- he is dumbstruck and routed to the spot. When John Clare Writes: ” My face it turned a deadly pale,” it is the first negative word or action in the poem. It is a fairly dramatic point in the poem, as it is the peak of his explanation of the natural events that are taking place around him and it is one of the few lines in the poem where negative, bad or even evil are entered in.
In the last line of the first stanza John Clare writes how he has just realised that his emotions are in turmoil. In the second stanza John Clare writes about the shock he is in as he is faced with this beautiful, stunning and magnificently presented female. He is also showing how his heart has been stolen and he can no longer use it for how he pleases. Everything around him disappears and fizzles out, nothing else matters anymore. He feels his heart is burning from the fire of his love, which hungers for an acceptance from the woman he feels so passionate about.
The third stanza describes the way that John Clare is not completely out of his mind. Doubts do actually start to creep into his mind. The two questions show how Clare is starting to feel anxious about his love, doubting whether his love is being returned. “Are flowers the winters choice? ” the answer is no, John Clare is saying that winter cannot choose whether flowers grow during winter, it has to let them make their own choice, just like John Clare having a say in whether his love is unrequited or not.
The poem concludes with John Clare saying that this woman is so sweet and superb, but she has done a terrible thing by stealing my heart:” I never saw so sweet a face as that I stood before, My heart has left its dwelling place and can return no more. ” Clare is trying to express how every other woman is irrelevant and his mind has only one focus now and that is on the one woman he desires. He is unable to fall in love with anyone else and his heart has been stolen, never to return to him. The overall mood of the poem is deceiving at first it seems positive but then on a second look it has a dark mood lurking in the writing.
The poem gives the reader the sense that they can feel the butterflies that some one who has just fallen in love for the first time has to face. John Clare describes his experience in a passionate and explosive way and creates or relives memories. The second poem that was studied is named Porphyrias Lover. It is a dark poem containing obsessive and possessive love about a man whose lover is of a higher stature to him, leaving him to feel envious and jealous of her. He is so enraged and angry because of his lover that his passionate insanity leads him to murder her, so that she can always be by his side.
This poem contains many similarities to First Love by John Clare: The way that the male character is unsure whether or not his love is being returned. In both poems there is a large use of natural imagery, and similes that co-inside with the physical features around them. In first love John Clare describes his lover: “Her face it bloomed like a flower. ” This is similar to a metaphor in Porphyrias Lover: ” The smiling rosy little head. ” Both metaphors use a visual image. Porphyrias Lover begins dark and miserable, where Browning’s character sits alone, waiting for his lover to return.
He is anxious and frustrated. Browning creates a pathetic fallacy to mirror his mood. “The rain set early in to-night. ” Rain is often used to set a gloomy, sad scene and leaves the reader feeling darkened. In the first four lines the words; ” sullen, tore, spite and vex. ” Are used to depress the image that the reader has of the poem. The words are negative and immediately terminate the impression that the poem is soft and texture less, and introduce danger and darkness, which we associate with Porphyria’s lover.
Despite the negative and cold entry to the poem, Porphyria’s sudden introduction to the scene swiftly and unsubtly twists the mood of the poem, in a completely new direction. The reader is suddenly able to visualise the whole cottage light up as Porphyria shuts out the storm and restores peace to the home. This immediately tells the reader that Porphyria is a strong symbol of warmth and comfort. Porphyria is always seen to be in control as she walks over to her sulking partner. When she murmurs how she loves him, he thinks she is merely being comforting.
At this point in the poem, Porphyria is dominant and has control, but her lover still doubts. He discards her compliments and says that she is unable to break the barriers between them, she rich, elegant, and popular; him most likely to be a farmer or servant with no social status. She is too weak to break the chains of “pride, and vainer ties dissever. ” But he does say that they are all trivial things that have no meaning and should not matter to them. He sulks and says she can never be his forever.
He states “nor could tonight’s gay feasts restrain, a sudden thought of one so pale. He is saying how he is sick with love and she will not return the same emotions. This is a very Petrach style of poetry suddenly he sees her eye’s happy and proud, and discovers that she adores him too. But he now starts to think that she “worships” him, which is uncertain, but he seems sure. His premeditated argument with himself is a sign that he is conscious of what he is a bout to do and it won’t be a momentary experience, “that moment she was mine, mine fair. ” This statement shows his obsession in the repetitive moment.
The most dramatic part of the poem is at its climax; when he strangles her it is shocking and completely unexpected. He opens her eyelids so that he would not lose the moment. Guessing, expecting and hoping that she felt no pain, once more he shows his love with a passionate, burning kiss. The alliteration emphasises the passion. Porphyria’s lover is patronising and arrogant in his dead lover. He assumes that she has emotions even if she is dead he has guessed that he has not sinned, this is expressed in the most devastating lines of the poem “and all night long we have not stirred, and yet god has not said a word.
He is implying that god hasn’t punished him so he assumes that he has not sinned. All in all there is a cold and depressing mood contained in this poem, and the morals are disturbing. But it show’s how the negative aspects of love can poison any situation. My last duchess was the last poem to be studied and it was also by Robert Browning. It is the story of meaningless love and greedy marriages that have been brewed together to for the duke’s lifestyle. The poem is based around a conversation between a duke and one of his visitor servants.
It is similar to Porphyria’s lover in a few less obvious ways: the male is possessive and arrogant; they think that they are on different levels to the female; the duke higher, Porphyria’s lover lower. It is dissimilar in strong ways that show up: Porphyria’s lover is sick in love and has an illness of passion towards this woman whilst the duke barely cares for his lover. But overall the strongest tie is that both of the lovers are murderers. “That’s my last duchess painted on the wall. ” The first line of the poem expresses how browning wants the reader to see how possessive the duke is by using “my” to appoint his ex-wife.
He assumes that the artist painted it for him, not because he asked for it, and says that the servant is less learned than him. The duke assumes that his wife is having an affair when he says “her husband presence, only a spot of joy! ” He is always jealous because she is “too soon made glad. ” Meaning that she was pleased with everyone so it was hard for the duke to be number one. He lists her odd behaviour because he expects special treatment, though she still treats everyone equal. He is jealous because his gift of 900 year old name is praised only as much as someone else’s gift. The duchess was treated like a child always being taught.
He says that her lack of praise for him didn’t matter, but he still goes on about it. The duchess had no independence. My last duchess shows how one mans greed and pride can overcome the most hideous of sins and create devastating affects. As a conclusion all three poems treated the theme of love differently. From the dark murderer of Porphyria’s lover, to the overcome lover in First Love. The many forms of love can be variously treated. My personal favourite was ‘My Last Duchess’ the true snobbery of an English duke is enough to kill the sweetest female. An excellent poem with meaning and moral.