• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Fern Hill By Dylan Thomas, summary and commentary.

Extracts from this document...


Fern Hill By Dylan Thomas Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green, The night above the dingle starry, Time let me hail and climb Golden in the heydays of his eyes, And honored among wagons I was prince of the apple towns And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves Trail with daisies and barley Down the rivers of the windfall light. And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home, In the sun that is young once only, Time let me play and be Golden in the mercy of his means, And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold, And the sabbath rang slowly In the pebbles of the holy streams. All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air And playing, lovely and watery And fire green as grass. And nightly under the simple stars As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away, All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the night-jars Flying with the ricks, and the horses Flashing into the dark. ...read more.


initiates into the world of maturity. ?Sleeping? in the poem is symbolic that refers to the loss of innocence that equates the Adam and Eve who had slept after fall from the Grace of God. This initiation of the world of maturity entails the loss of Edenic bliss, innocence, grace and freedom. Moreover poet loses creative imagination and fantasies in which a union with nature was possible. In the last stanza the poet once again contemplates on the memoirs of his childhood but this time the awareness, becomes dominant. In the last line the poet refers to his chained situation in the world of experience. Now he is in chain, green color is withered now. So, this poem is the journey from childhood to manhood when the manhood comes, the man suffers from agony. Now I am not what I was in the past. The use of verb ?song? hints that the losses can be captured through art in the last line stanza. Forms and Devices The poem is composed of six nine-line stanzas that rhyme (mostly with slant rhymes) abcddabcd. The lines have a very flexible accentual rhythm. Lines 1, 2, 6, and 7 have six accents each; lines 3, 4, 8, and 9 have three accents; and line 5 usually has four accents. ...read more.


The episode involves bird symbols as well, however, and these the reader may well interpret as symbols of poetry?swallows, the implied owls and nightjars from the earlier episode of literal sleep (lines 23-27), and the moon herself as mistress of the creative imagination (like the fairy queen, Titania, in Shakespeare?s A Midsummer Night?s Dream, c. 1595-1596). A child does not compose the songs of childhood. Only an adult can do so, for only the adult is thematically possessed of his own past history. Under the influence of the moon of imagination, the sea rises and falls; although a repressive king-figure (Father Time, the god Cronos, the Persian despot Xerxes, or the Danish King Canute of Britain) can attempt to chain the sea, he will not succeed. Hence, the perennial human symbol of expulsion from the limited Eden of newly created innocence also symbolizes the initiation into the more fully human and creative world of mature experience. When the sea ?sing[s] in its chains,? therefore, it does not sing only the green, white, and golden world of Fern Hill, it also sings the green and dying world of the mortal adult. Like a ritual incantation, the poem ?Fern Hill? re-creates for the reader the Eden of boyhood, its loss, and its retrieval. Whenever the poem is read and for as long as it takes to read it, the paradise of Fern Hill exists again, is lost again, and is regained. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Poets section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Poets essays

  1. Social and literary background to Mirza Ghalib's works. Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan known ...

    woe and despairs of love, complains about the tyranny of sky and unjustness of fate. In the poetry of these times there is a note of deep melancholy and deep pathos, a note of weariness and disgust with life and hollowness of worldly ambition and worldly dreams.

  2. Blake's idea of Innocence

    Blake's recurring use of 'black' when describing priests throughout the Songs and in particular 'tomb-stones', could symbolise despair and mourning. When looking at the accompanying artwork, this sense of loss and death could be related to youth, freedom and innocence, as two children kneel next to a priest over an open grave.

  1. How does Blake convey his ideas on the treatment of children on his songs?

    just because an adult perceives it to be harmful to children does not mean that they are right. When she lets them play 'the little ones leaped, and shouted, and laughed,' which shows their complete happiness and 'all the hills echoed' shows that the hills echoed this happiness and supports the children playing.

  2. Commentary on The Lost Heritage by Heather Buck

    we hang of nature are quiet aspect of nature and it is a landscape as it is not alive and is unable to bring any effect in our lives. We are described to tip and tilt the portrait and attempt to establish a connection with our past.

  1. Critical Analysis on 'Do not go gentle into that good night' by Dylan Thomas

    This personal connection evokes a lot of emotion, as there are sentimental reasons as to why he should fight death. Thomas quickly uses this emotional experience to demonstrate the importance of relationships and family, and their value to individuals. However, there is more exploration of life itself in this poem as much as it is about death.

  2. Critical Commentary on Engineers Corner by Wendy Cope

    This is further emphasized by the short sharp sentences Cope uses to add to the biting flair of the poem, lines such as ?It must be hell?, carry so much power that this emphasis strengthens the sarcasm of the poem.

  1. Critical Commentary on London and Jerusalem by William Blake

    Blake utilizes a somber tone throughout the poem as he is discussing his own country in a seemingly patriotic manner. The poem is full of metaphor which aids in Blake?s representation of the church as an ever changing authority. In the line, ?Among these dark satanic mills? Blake could be

  2. Discuss Thomas presentation of strong emotions in Tears.

    Furthermore, the positive language employed at this point in the poem also creates the strong emotion of joy that Thomas now experiences. ?A mightier charm than in any Tower? for example illustrates that he no longer feels the solitude presented at the start of the poem.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work