Reminiscences Of The Loss Of Innocence In Dylan Thomas' Poem Fern Hill

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“Fern Hill” by Dylan Thomas. “Fern Hill” recounts the story of a young man who has very happy memories of his youth. The piece utilizes basic yet expressive language and symbolism to bring out the cheerful time of youth. Worried about youth and sentimentality, it discusses a range of life when the idea of age is unfathomable. The poem gives an idea of “the Garden of Eden” and the freedom of Adam and Eve until the loss of innocence awakens the beginning of worry, fear and adulthood. Thomas passes on the feeling that however time does in fact pass, it is lenient to the young storyteller who abides in an eternal utopia. The setting is farm land and countryside in which he has a feeling of contentment and happiness.

Throughout the poem he continuously brings up childhood actions so that although time was passing by he seemed to be stuck in his memories. for him the wonder of his memories and the descriptions he puts into them gave the landscape a life of its own. He is very aware of what is going on in his life which brings him more alive. “And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home” (Fern Hill, stanza 2)

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The majority of the mood of the poem is about being young and healthy. Although his descriptions of his surroundings are very vivid and make Fern Hill come alive he seems to be admitting as a child he did not appreciate how happy his youth was. The final stanza has him realizing that time waits for no man. Time cannot be stopped, and every child has to follow a line from birth to death. “Fern Hill concludes with a subtle, but definite shift towards the present, and concludes in such a way that it reads almost like a eulogy, as the present speaker mourns the “death” of their past self.”

Although childhood memories are very present they only take up a small portion of our lives. Growing up takes us away from the thoughtless, innocent actions of youth, and time pulls us into the cold reality of an adult world. Dylan Thomas constant use of repetition ensures that the reader stays engrossed in his childhood; examples; apple boughs and apple towns, grass is green, and green is carefree, green and golden. This repetition keeps us focused persistently on the beauty of the landscape and all his childhood pleasures.

Personification is also heavily used in his poem as if he is trying to keep his memories alive by giving the objects around him personalities of his own. Using personification brings more color and vivid images to a poem. Example; lilting house, time let me hail and climb, in the sun that is young once only. “A true poet uses nature’s language to interpret the world for society, using symbols and images from nature’s “picture-language” to express abstract ideas). Feelings and emotions play a big role in the tone of this poem and with all the descriptive language it throws you into the setting.

His use of the English language and different parts of speech make for a very authentic, realistic setting and brings graphic memories for the reader. He uses Assonance and alliteration to put music and movement into his words. Example; sun and young, mercy and means, huntsman and herdsman, clear and cold. Each stanza has the same number of lines and each line has a definite number of syllables. It is not all together regarded as free verse but could be taken as a poem with a form of its own.

As an adult, with all the stress of everyday life, returning to one’s childhood can bring about a feeling of euphoria and gives hope for a better life in the future. It also brings regrets that being so young time went by in a blur of fun and enjoyment not seen the older we become. Dylan Thomas writes with the hope of inspiring his readers to see, feel and become involved with the story he is telling, to remind everyone that youth is innocence and old age may come upon us all without realization. Time does not stop for any man.

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Reminiscences Of The Loss Of Innocence In Dylan Thomas’ Poem Fern Hill. (2021, April 19). WritingBros. Retrieved June 25, 2024, from
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