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Analysis of Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas Thematic Analysis Fern Hill was completed in 1945, and was the

last poem to be included in Deaths And Entrances, published the following year !laced at the end of the collection, it appears to mo"e away from the war#induced dar$ness of tone which characteri%es many of its other poems Fern Hill has 54 lines or stan%as with nine lines each &sing outwardly na'"e language and simple descriptions, (homas creates an idyllic s$etch of a )armarthenshire dairy farm in which his Aunt Ann and &ncle *im had li"ed when he was a child He used to spend his holidays in the farm when he was young Fern Hill by Dylan (homas is an autobiographical poem in which (homas uses the memories of childhood days in order to e+plore the theme of ,reminiscing the -oy of childhood. (his is portrayed through the poet/s -ourney from innocence as a child to someone e+perienced as an adult (he theme is based on 0illiam 1la$e/s di"ision the world of e+perience and it is reinforced through the use of 0ordsworthian double consciousness (he poem can be di"ided into two parts2 the first three stan%as are related to the poets e+perience as a child when he used to spend his summer holidays at his auntie/s farm, Fern Hill, which is in 0an sea in 0ales3 but the last three stan%as are about the reali%ation in the child 4who is now an adult5, which signifies the loss of the world of innocence At the center of this loss of the innocence are the myths of fall of the first human beings 4Adam and E"e5 (he world of innocence 4child5 as described in the first three stan%as is li$e the 6arden of Eden, a world in which the child is in complete union with the nature (his world of fantasy offers the child an Edenic bliss (he way (homas describes this world3 it appears to be timeless world without sense of loss and decay 7n the third stan%a the poet slowly mo"es towards the transition between the world of innocence and the world of e+perience 7n the forth stan%a the spea$er/s sleeping is a symbolic sleeping which ends a flashing into the dar$ (his flashing is a $ind of awa$ening as hinted by the first line of the fourth stan%a 7n this awa$ening the child initiates into the world of maturity ,8leeping. in the poem is symbolic that refers to the loss of innocence that e9uates the Adam and E"e who had slept after fall from the 6race of 6od (his initiation

of the world of maturity entails the loss of Edenic bliss, innocence, grace and freedom :oreo"er the poet loses creati"e imagination and fantasies in which a union with nature was possible 7n the last stan%a the poet once again contemplates on the memoirs of his childhood but this time the awareness becomes dominant 7n the last line the poet refers to his chained situation in the world of e+perience ;ow he is in chain, green color is withered now and he has aged 8o, this poem is the -ourney from childhood to manhood when the manhood comes, the man suffers from agony ;ow the poet is not what he was in the past (he use of "erb ,song. in the last line hints that the losses can be captured through art Other themes in Fern Hill Time (homas concentrates on the passing of time with aching and longing for the past/s irreco"erability 4let/s call that a word5 (ime throughout is a force, an actor, an agent (he child, rides time as a wild, doing things to the spea$er (homas begins with a meditation on the e+perience of time as a blessing, a gift, a continuousness and flowing stealing his youth, as withdrawing its gift ecstatic romp As it progresses, howe"er, time is increasingly refigured as robbing and 7nnocence, we $now, is only temporary3 e+perience calls us out of our youth and we can ne"er return Childhood innocence as a form of Kingship ;othing has yet imposed itself into the child/s consciousness to ma$e it doubt or fear He does not $now yet that he is not the center of the uni"erse, and that/s o$ay 7n fact, it/s a condition of blessedness, at least for now (homas here is clearly a romantic Howe"er, the mystery, force, and power of his lyric comes from its anti#transcendental character2 8ub-ect and <b-ect on the farm are fused, united, interlaced (here is yet no di"ision, a condition of adulthood (he boy is in ,lordly. command of all around him because he is tapped into the life force of creation His e+istence in time is measured not by cloc$s but by the light of the sun or the moon, which appear, always, to e+ist for him

Nature (he poem ta$es place on the poet/s childhood farm in rural coastal 0ales, a landscape rendered as mystical and magical (HE 8A)=ED ;A(&=E here ta$es on the aspect of (HE H<>?, Edenic##and the poem functions much li$e a !salm of !raise@in his

natural, ,green. state, nature honors the child

Summary by Stanza and Stylistic Analysis Fern Hill is considered one of the most beautiful and e"ocati"e recollections of childhood in all of English >iterature (homas opens the poem li$e a storyteller For 8tan%a 1, the word now does not mean at the present time 7t is a storyteller/s phrase3 ,;ow as 7 was young,. ad"ises the listener to sit bac$ and hear a story about childhood (he word easy here recalls the comfort and freedom from care that adults associate with childhood (hroughout the poem, (homas combines words that are not ordinarily associated with each other to gi"e the reader a new perspecti"e3 thus Alilting houseA becomes one that is full of -oy and song (his blend does not gi"e a physical description of the house, but an emotional one (he reader e+periences the childBs pleasure (his is a $ey techni9ue in AFern Hill,A as (homas recreates for the reader the ideali%ed dreams of childhood summers AHappy as the grass is greenA e+plains about identifiable amount of -oy and the delight of childhood ,6reen. which symboli%es the color of spring and renewal, is used throughout the poem E"en the nights are filled with stars, as fits the memories of idyllic childhood (homas uses personification when he introduces ,time., who grants the child permission to en-oy his days fully, to Aclimb goldenA under his ga%e (he use of Cgolden/ adds the connotation of being charmed, untouched by the ordinary worries of life 7n the line ,And honoured among wagons 7 was prince of the apple towns., (homas recreates childhood play and fantasies (he child becomes the master of all that is around him (he idea of a fairy tale connotation is further reinforced with the word prince A childBs $ingdom is fashioned from the world around him, in this case, ,the apple orchard. (he line also refers to ,the apple boughs. in the first line and the ,windfall light. in line 9 8uch connections help (homas establish a "isual and sensual impression of Fern Hill (homas returns to the mode of storyteller as he changes the traditional opening of fairy tales, from upon to below As lord of this entire place, the

child rules the ,trees and flowers. 7n the last line of the stan%a, (homas uses beautiful imageries, describing the sunlight in the orchard as Ari"ers of windfall light A 0indfall refers to the apples fallen from the trees, but in addition the word has a secondary meaning of good fortune or good luc$ 1oth definitions contribute to the emotional sense of the image 8tan%a D restates the childBs impressions of Fern Hill in the first stan%a A sense of well#being is emphasi%ed again as ,green. is repeated and now -oined with carefree (he word AfamousA supports the childBs sense of being the center of his world3 it compliments Ahonoured,A Aprince,A and Alordly A Although the child feels that he will be young fore"er, while e"en the sun must age, it is he who is only once young (ime allows the spea$er the freedom to play endlessly Again, the emphasis on the colors, green and golden, with their connotation of young and blessed, recurs throughout the poem (he alliteration in ,huntsman. and ,herdsman. reinforces the childBs idea of the control that he has o"er his world3 the other imageries Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold 4auditory imagery5 in this stan%a support this feeling of power (homas also recalls the ways in which children "iew time as mo"ing slowly ,(ime. in this stan%a is symbolised as bene"olent force in the childBs life, mo"es at a different pace for him than for adults 7n stan%a E, (homas presents the reader with a series of imageries##long sunny days 4"isual imagery5, rich and golden hay fields 4"isual imagery5, sweet melodic air 4auditory imagery5##which con"ey a sense of -oy, song, comfort, and contentment (he poet also uses hyperbole in describing the nature E"erything is e+aggerated, as a child might see it (his is portrayed in the lines ,(he hay fields seem enormously high. and ,the fire can glow green. (he rest of the stan%a describes the childBs ideas about what happens during the nighttime on the farm As day turns to night, the stars themsel"es become, not distant spheres, but simple ob-ects lighting the s$y for a child (homas creates a dream image in which the child imagines that the farm "anishes when e"eryone is asleep (his foreshadows the disappearance of the farm in the final stan%a Howe"er, here the nighttime fantasy is one of ad"enture, not at all frightening or sad (homas e"en uses AblessedA to describe these night happenings and he says that he farm is borne away by the owls, seemingly under the protection of the moon

7n stan%a 4, the poet tells that the morning finds the farm bac$, shimmering with morning dew (he alliterati"e Awanderer whiteA continues (homasBs use of connotation3 he uses the color white to symboli%e purity and renewal (he entire stan%a focuses on images of mar"el and wonder and renewal (homas compares each morning to the first morning of Adam and E"e (he farm becomes Eden before the fall (homas e+pands his image by going e"en farther bac$ in time than Adam He describes the creation of the cosmos itself (he -oy of light appearing finally out of dar$ness is the -oy that surrounds the farm, and all the creatures on it, as they enter each new day 7f these images were e+pressed through an adult "oice, they would seem artificial, e"en ridiculous <nly through the "oice of a child can they e+press wonder effecti"ely 8tan%a 5 restates many of the ideas and descriptions in the pre"ious stan%as ,Honoured. was first used in line F and the "isual imageries of ,the animals and house. are described again (his repetition or echoing effect reinforces the childBs life (he Anew made cloudsA recall the birth of light in the last stan%a, while the simile Ahappy as the heart was longA re"ises the end of line D (homas compared the happiness which the heart has longed for Days are similar, one to another and this is the pattern of childhood (he Asun born o"er and o"erA contrasts with the sun in line 1D which is only young once (he childBs carefree attitude is again described (he alliteration and assonance of Ahouse high hayA reinforce this easy feeling 0ith the last three words in line 4D, (homas introduces the idea of loss (ime allows the child such mornings, but they will not last fore"er &ntil this point, the details presented the ideali%ed memories of childhood, recalling what it felt li$e to be free and easy, to feel that time was generous, gi"ing endless sunny days ;ow the adult perspecti"e enters, mourning that the number of those glorious days is so limited 7n line 4E, (homas uses alliteration ,tuneful turning. to create an image of the -oyful song of time Howe"er, the song is not for adults <nly the green and golden children can hear it For 8tan%a F, the first line restates line 4D, and the symbolism AwhiteA again appears, with its connotation of innocence, remembering the childBs inability to understand the nature of time (hese lines parallel the disappearance of the farm in lines DE#DG as the farm disappears in the nighttime once again 7nstead of the protecti"e owls howe"er, it is ,time. that ta$es the farm ,(ime. in the line ,(ime held me green and

dying. symboli%es the reality that the poet has aged (his line pro"ides a poignant contrast to the beginning of stan%a four, when the child wa$es up li$e Adam, o"erwhelmed by the glory of the world (homas effecti"ely uses the alliteration li$e Afarm fore"er fledA to stress the loss (ime will no longer show his mercy in a Achildless land A (his final transition from the remembered glories of childhood to the reality of the adult world is irre"ocable (homas uses repetition of phrases from past stan%as to emphasi%e the sense of loss >ine 5D repeats lines 1 and 14, while line 5D changes line 1H to ,green and dying. ,6reen. now becomes the color of decay (he emotional impact of this line is more easily felt than translated (he adult has become a prisoner of time His life has boundaries li$e the sea3 time orders his mo"ements, -ust as the moon directs the motion of the sea