Book Reports / Comparative Essay Between Firstlove And Sex Without Love

Comparative Essay Between Firstlove And Sex Without Love

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Autor:  anton  04 March 2011
Tags:  Comparative,  Between,  Firstlove,  Without
Words: 1034   |   Pages: 5
Views: 491

First Love John Clare and Sex Without Love , two poems written at different times, with “connected” themes but at the same time very different. First Love is a Lyrical poem written in the 18th century by John Clare and Sex Without Love is a more contemporary poem which was written in 1985 by Sharon Olds. The theme in First Love is about a person that fell in love for the first time, who is talking about his emotions and what happened to him when it happened, while Sex Without Love the persona is criticizing the people that can have sex without being in love.

In these two poems, which are self-explained by the titles (First Love and Sex Without Love), we can see that they are almost opposite poems. In the poem First Love, the persona is talking about how he felt and what happened to him when he fell in love for the first time. The theme in this poem is more warmer and more innocent, the persona talks about his most personal feelings from when he fell in love, and this makes the theme more emotional. The persona starts by saying “I ne’er was struck before that hour with love so sudden and so sweet”, meaning that he had never fell in love, a very profound and good feeling, before that moment and then describes how it was that he felt through the rest of the poem. While in Sex Without Love the persona is criticizing the people that can have sex without loving each other and asks herself how can they do it. This theme is about something a lot more superficial and cold, even the author compares people who can have sex without love with ice-skaters, which gives us an image of coldness, but this does not mean that this poem is less profound because even though the theme is superficial and cold, the author describes it in a very detailed and profound way through metaphors and similes. In this poem the author leaves all the feelings and emotions behind, and talks about how superficial and cold are the people that can “...make love without love.”(l.1) In this poem the persona starts by saying “How do they do it, the ones who make love without love?” from which we can infer that it is not the first time that they do this act of coldness and selfishness. We can see a big contrast between these two poems, In First Love the persona talks about that he is in love, an emotion beyond the physical, while in Sex Without Love, what the persona talks about something purely physical and superficial. This shows how different these two poems are in terms of theme, as something warm and something cold, they are almost opposite, even though they do have things in common, like being profound.

If we compare these two poems in terms of the use of symbolism, as in the use of similes and metaphors, we can see that in this aspect these two poems are very similar, both have many similes and some metaphors, one more than the other. Both poems have a simile at the beginning of them, “Her face it bloomed like as sweet flower” in the third verse from First Love and “Beautiful as dancers, gliding over each other like ice-skaters over the ice” from Sex Without Love, though there is a difference, the one comparing the people having “sex without love” with ice-skaters is closer to the main theme than the simile from First Love, that is a comparison between the woman who the persona fell in love with, though this one is not too that less closer to the main theme of the poem. We can also see that in the poem Sex Without Love, the similes and metaphors are much more longer than in First Love. Most verses of Sex Without Love have a simile or a metaphor and most of them are connected with each other like from the second verse until the eight verse:

“…Beautiful as dancers,

gliding over each other like ice-skaters

over the ice, fingers hooked

inside each other’s bodies, faces

red as steak, wine, wet as the

children at birth whose mother are going to

give them away…”

while on First Love we can see many similes and metaphors but most of them are about different ideas that help the author convey the theme and most of them are not directly connected with each other. In this aspect both poems are very similar, not equal but very similar, because both authors use similes and metaphors to help convey the message.

When focusing on the structure of this both poems we can see that his two poems are very different. First Love is an Ode that has three octaves (three stanzas with eight verses) with an alternate rhyming scheme while Sex Without Love is a poem written in blank verse with no rhyme of twenty four verses, though this poem still has a rhythm created by the use of words and repetitions of words:

“…How do they come to the

come to the come to the God come to the….”(l.8)

Here we can see a contrast between two poems. First Love is much more structurized than Sex Without Love and this shows that the author John Clare (the author of First Love) was much more focused on the structure of the poem when he wrote it than the author of Sex Without Love, the rhythm that he gave it makes the poem very melodic and helps us hear it more beautifully. This makes First Love a much more beautiful and organized poem than Sex Without Love, at a first glimpse.

In Conclusion we can say that these two poems are very different, almost opposites in every aspect, except in the use of symbolism, metaphors and similes, First Love has a much more innocent and emotive theme and it is more organized and structured, while Sex Without Love is more superficial and cold and is written in a more monotonous way. After analyzing these two poems I like First Love a lot more because in my opinion the author dedicated much more time in making the poem sound beautiful and have powerful images.

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