Fern Hill Analysis

1056 words - 5 pages

The poem “Fern Hill” by Dylan Thomas retells a story of a joyous child on a paradise described farm. Its title suggests a connection with nature to the text as the diction meaning for a fern hill, is a plant. The piece is written in six stanzas, nine lines each, is filled with strong messages and meaning throughout. The use of religious allusions can further propose a spiritual background for the speaker. As well, the poem is written with many poetic devices that reveals a strong idea of time within the poem. These fragments together create the concept of “time waiting on no one” as the main impression.
To start with, “Fern Hill” consists of many themes with the use of diction and connation throughout each stanza in the poem. A happy childhood was one of the obvious themes as the speaker describes his youth like a prize. For example, he begins with, “[…]I was young and easy under the apple boughs[...]” (Thomas 1). The diction of the words clearly shows he is describing his experiences as a young child. Likewise, in the first stanza he says, “About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green” (2). This clearly suggests the speaker spent time in a lilting house as a child, but as well the diction of the word “lilting” means to be cheerful and buoyant. Basically meaning the speaker is explaining his wonderful childhood.
The poem overall was positive and uplifting; the speaker even uses the scenery of the farm around him to help express his joy as a youth when he explains “… I was green and carefree, famous among the barns/ about the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,” (10-11). The use of “happy yard” shows one of the many times the speaker combines nature with the emotion of happiness together to provide a conation meaning to propose the true joy for the speaker is the beauty of his environment. Above all, another theme that can be found within the poem is change. In the first five stanzas, the speaker talks about his youth as if it is an experience that will last forever. Then the sixth stanzas arrives and the speaker explains his youth days as, “And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows/ In all his tuneful turnings so few and such morning songs” (42-43). The key word from this quote is “turning,” which indications the speaker has realized his youth will not be forever unlike his descriptions previously. In addition, the use of the words “few” and “such” from the quote, show him now knowing his child days were limited and he will become an adult. For example the poem’s last two lines are him explaining, “Time held me green and dying/ Though I sang in my chains like the sea” (53-54). The tone here is a lot more negative and has dramatically changed from the cheerful mood set earlier. This can imply the lesson for the speaker was to not take time for granted.
Additionally, the poem uses strong biblical allusions to create an atmosphere of the perfect childhood. ...

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