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Love and Nature: Song Review

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Lover and Nature“Song [Secret Love]” was written by John Clare which is talked about Clare loves a girl, but doesn’t choose to confess, only to hide the painful “secret love”. The poem rhymes to make it seem as if it is singing in a rhythmical way. This poem expresses the author’s grief and sorrow over giving up his “secret love” for his lover. The tone of the whole poem is sad and conflicted, praising Clare’s grief and struggle in hiding up the “secret love”. Although Clare loved the girl very much, however, he had to hide it. The poem uses the connection between human and nature to express the author’s love for his lover and the struggle to hide.

First of all, the author describes his love for his lover as a “secret love” by using images. By means of “the buzzing of a fly” (2), it reflects Clare’s inner irritation and pain. Clare can’t stand “the buzzing of a fly” (2) not just for can’t stand the noise of flying flies around him, but for the pain which comes with having to hide this “secret love”. The noise may be an allusion to the denial of Clare by those around him or the obstruction of the “secret love”, which makes Clare cowardly and more self-conscious, and does not dare to confess to his lover he likes. Clare writes, “I hid my love to my despite/ Till I could not bear to look at light:” (line 3-4).

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word “despite” (3) means that “somebody did not intend to do the thing mentioned”. Therefore, we can see from the word “despite” (3) that Clare had to hide the “secret love” because he was blocked by the outside world. As we all know, light is indispensable to people’s daily life. Clare thinks his lover is the same as the “light” (4), illuminating his life. Once he loses her, life will become darkness. Clare is reluctant to hide his “secret love”, which is also consistent with the previous article “the buzzing of a fly” (2) and echoing each other. Clare writes that “I kissed and bade my love good-bye” (line 8). The word of “bade” (8) expresses the author’s reluctance to part with the “secret love”, and he forces himself to say goodbye to the “secret love”.

All of this is why he called this unspoken love a “secret love”. Clare can’t speak to the girl he loves because of the external obstacles. Clare calls it “secret love” because he doesn’t say it but force himself to say “Good-bye.” (8) for his lover.

Secondly, Clare used a lot of beautiful words to describe his lover, which formed a strong conflict with the pain of the first paragraph of the poem, highlighting Clare’s inner struggle. Especially when he described the first time they met, Clare writes, “I met her in the greenest dells, / Where dewdrops pearl the wood bluebells;” (line 9-10). Unlike the first eight sentences, the first two lines create a very romantic atmosphere, and Clare meets his lover and falls in love at first sight in this beautiful and romantic setting. According to “A sunbeam found a passage there, / A gold chain round her neck so fair;”.

In the sun, Clare’s lover’s neck seemed to be wearing “a gold chain” (14), which made her very beautiful. In the eyes of Clare, the girl seems to be in harmony with nature, beautiful and harmonious. However, the girl’s beauty is in stark contrast to Clare’s pain, and highlights the contradictions and conflicts within Clare. Whenever Clare thought of the girl’s goodness, he was no doubt adding to himself the trouble and pain. These two violent conflicts within Clare’s heart grow more and more painful, and he wants to try his best to forget the girl. The poem expresses the anguish and irritability with which he was caught in a dilemma.

More to the point, this mentions “bee’s song” (15), “ballads” (19), “singing” (12), which deepens the reader’s impression of the title of this poem which named “Song [Secret Love]”. The frequent appearance of the image bee is in fact an allusion to the author himself. Clare writes, “The bee kissed and went singing by” (line 12). Clare compares himself to a bee and imagines himself singing love songs around him beloved girl. Clare writes that “The bees seemed singing ballads o’er, / The fly’s buss turned a lion’s roar” (line 19-20).

The shift in imagery suggests that the resistance is so great that Clare can no longer ignore it, and Clare, suffering from stress, has no choice but to abandon the “secret love”. Clare also likens his lover to a flower, and at a deeper level he establishes an inseparable relationship with his lover. Clare’s need for his love resembles an intensity of a bee needing to extract nectar from the flower. If the bee leaves the flower, then the only thing waiting for him is death. He regarded his lover as the source of his life to show his strong love for her. And it was because of this importance that he was so miserable when he gave up his “secret love”.

Clare’s love for his lover is like a bee’s love for a flower. Clare’s poem expresses not only his love for his lover, but also human love for nature. He gives his own emotions to bees through anthropomorphic ways, and makes bees have personality, thus establishing their own connection with nature. The poem uses a lot of words about the elements of nature to expresses that Clare’s love for nature. Clare uses this image to express similarities between humanity and nature.

Human can’t live without the support of nature. For example, if human life does not have a forest, the carbon dioxide exhaled by humans will not be absorbed, so that no fresh air can breathe. However, if the air does not circulate, the air that humans breathe is the air exhaled by others, which causes the air that people breathe to be no longer fresh, and the chances of people getting sick will increase greatly. Human life will be filled with viruses every day and become no longer happy. Therefore, only when the heart is full of love for nature, from the heart of the love to protect nature, and live in harmony with nature, can people have a beautiful homeland.

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Love And Nature: Song Review. (2019, August 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved November 28, 2021, from
“Love And Nature: Song Review.” GradesFixer, 27 Aug. 2019,
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