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In this poem, the author reflects on experiences from his youth. It depicts an idyllic farm description with an emblem of freshness and wealth. The poem is set in Fern Hill, which is in the countryside. The poet praises the rural atmosphere as well as natural colors such as green in the poem. The poem's atmosphere embodies passion as well as the loss of a young life. This brilliantly transports the reader back to his childhood. Notably, the entire poem is concerned with the protection of rural life. Through the imagery of the poem, the setting is carefully transformed to a more magical place as indicates that the persona was "green and carefree" (Dylan).
This description of the setting reflects the love the person has to the Fern Hill. The tone of the poem is honest, and the narrator openly reveals the desires he has through remembering the landscapes of youth. This is seen in line one which reads "I was young and easy" while line 19 states “it was lovely" (Dylan). This shows that the speaker’s childhood life was enjoyable. Through these statements, the speaker is being sincere, and straightforward to the reader. However, the moods of this narrator shift although but he manages to keep the imagery and the diction of the poem. In the first part of the poem, the mood is peaceful, and he continually repeats how he admires his youth life. However, in the second part of the poem, the mood changes to sadness after he realizes that time has passed and he cannot go back to his life and enjoy it. As such, the poem asserts to the reader that time passes and one has to live at the moment. Indeed, Dylan was an iconic figure, and a master of meter who understood the importance of living a happy, youthful life and the literary devices he employs helps in bring this out.
Part Two: Critical Analysis of the poem Fern Hill
Dylan is considered to be one of the talented writers and his works including Fern Hill have remained to be a lasting legacy in the field of literature. An encounter with this poem reveals that it to be an interesting lyrical poem which comprises of literary devices that are fascinating. The poem is a recollection of the youthful life. The speaker of this poem is a man who recalls the experiences of his childhood when he was still an innocent child. It is thus a recollection of youth desires that the young person had in life. The speaker presents a first-person narration drawing a direct contact with the reader. Indeed, the first person narration denotes a direct characterize that makes the reader have direct emotional experience with the events of the poem. Through the use of simple descriptions and candid language, the author manages to navigate the poem to the interest of the reader. One cannot fail to sympathize with the persona who wishes to go back to his youth life and enjoy it once again. This poem means that every person has to live his or her life at the moment because life is too short and things do not last forever. Indeed, Dylan was an iconic figure, and a master of meter who understood the importance of living a happy, youthful life and the literary devices he employs helps in bring this out.
Critical Analysis of the Poem
The poem has six stanzas that are written in free verse. Every stanza of the poem has nine lines. In the first part of the poem, the speaker explains his enjoyable and carefree life. This is contrary to the other second part of the poem where he showcases to the reader the changes that have happened and that he is no longer a young man to enjoy life. The plot is told in past point of view and the first life highlights to the reader that this is a recollection of the past events. It reads “Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs” (Dylan). Joy and peace are seen the first twenty lines and details the adventures that are remarkably intriguing. After this, the poem suddenly changes creating a landscape that is threatening. The indication of the change opens terrifying feelings as the narrator realizes that his childhood is no more and an illusion of depth is created in the last stanza.
Dylan’s poem is heavily grounded and dominated by many literary devices which not only help in making the poem interesting but also bring out the meaning of the poem. The use of literary devices such as personification, imagery, and metaphor helps in enhancing the imagination of the reader and creates attention. Through the use of imagery, there is the formation of a perfect picture in the mind of the reader concerning the Fern Hill where the poem revolves around. Imagery is in line 15, where the reader sees that the narrator of the story calls himself “green and golden.” The images of green and the color of golden are created in the mind. The color of gold is typically vibrant, and this is associated with youth life.
Dylan’s poem contains personification literary device. Personification has been important in as it connects the reader with the object that is personified in the poem. The non-human objects that are personified vividly help to understand and sympathize as well as emotionally react to the objects. In line 2 this device is evident in words “lilting house.” Lilting is an ancient Gaelic singing style, and this personifies the house to the style. In lines 4 and 5, the word “time” is personified to appear as the playmate of the speaker. Moreover, the sun is also personified in line 12, and here, it appears to be a friend to the speaker. In line 29, personification is seen when the farm is termed to be a shoulder depicting how it is important to the life of the people. The tone of the poem is nostalgic. Evidently, the narrator is heavily dominated by the lamentations of not getting back what he had and that it is forever gone. Truly, the repentance of failing to have appreciated his youth life and the beauty that comes with it is evident in this poem. Certainly, there are no major shifts in tone through the vents occurring entirely in the poem. However, when the poem almost comes to an end, there is a shift from a happy tone made of the youth memories to a sorrowful one where the speaker has to accept his present life where he is not as happy as he used to be.
There are also assonance and consonance in the poem. In line 7, “trees” and “leaves” are vowel rhymes forming assonants. The letter “e” binds the two words together. Again in line 8, “daisies” and “barley have the “a” vowel rhyme. Consonants are evident in line 9 in the words “rivers” and “windfall” and here, the “v” and “f” constants significantly bind the two words. Notably, the repetition of the assonance in this poem creates a rhyme scheme of (abcddabcd). The author also took great importance in using alliteration in the poem. This alliteration focuses the attention of the reader through creating rhythmical words that evokes the mood and connotation. Alliteration is seen in line 14 in words “mercy of his means.” This is also evident in line 15 in words “Huntsman and herdsman.” Besides, “Clear and cold” are other words that have alliteration. More importantly, anaphora is used on lines 21-23. Here, the word “and” that is used at the beginning of these three lines help in building the momentum of the poem. Simile is a device that is employed in line 28 which reads “And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white.” The farm is described as “a wanderer white/ with the dew” and this helps the reader to creates a deeper meaning. This is seen in line 30 where the call of Adam and Eve is primarily an illusion.
In this poem, the author uses metaphors and symbolism to enable the reader to follow through the events described along with understanding the feelings and thoughts of the speaker. Notably, the use of colors has been an essential factor in bringing out the metaphor and symbolism. In respect to this, the green color is particularly used in many parts of the poem, and it relates to youthfulness, freedom, and happiness. For example line 2 reads “and happy as the grass was green” (Dylan). Also, line 10 states “as I was green and carefree” (Dylan). This color green also stands for immaturity, which is truly evident from the storyline that involves a child. In line 53 when the poem ends, the green color is used to reflect the transition from youth life to adulthood as it reads “Time held me green and dying” (Dylan). This mirrors an increasing decline in the use of the word color green and symbolizes a growth in the life of the speaker. The color of gold is also a metaphor employed to symbolize glory. Line 14 says “Golden in the mercy of his means” (Dylan). Evidently, the speaker makes use of these primary colors to highlight the level of joy he had in youth.
The underlining theme of this poem is the importance of living a happy, youthful life. The entire poem encompasses a recollection of a happy childhood life which the speaker yearns to have again. At every changing time in the poem, each line depicts happiness and reveals the beauty of the youthful life. Broadly, this poem could be divided into two key primary sections. The initial part involves the introduction given by the speaker giving the reader a taste of the beauty that exists in Fern Hill. This sections aids in building the plot of the poem. The second part consists of the truth and realities that occur and thus exposing that nothing remains the same and particularly the youthful life. The speaker even confesses that he lost his youthfulness and the paradise life in Fern Hill. The speaker is now in the future, and he has to accept the reality of having lost his youth life. The two sections of the poem vividly provide an intriguing depiction of how happiness is embedded in the youthful life and one should enjoy it before it goes away. The stanzas establish the beauty of life and awaken a nostalgic memory in the mind of the reader. The speaker through the memory lane of his youthful days brings out the theme.
Indeed, Dylan’s poem is a masterpiece that presents to the reader how enjoying the youth life is an essential aspect of the life of everyone. It is nostalgic and delves into the childhood life of the speaker thus giving a sneak peek of the Fern Hill. Many of the literary devices including personification, imagery, and metaphors have grounded the theme of the poem and have been vitally significant in bringing out the message Dylan intended to communicate to the reader. These devices have made the poem to be highly enchanting and cultivated an extraordinary degree of attention in the reader. Perhaps, the images that are created in the mind unfold the events of the poem in a more captivating way. Indeed, Dylan carefully presents his ideas and magnificently navigates the poem in a manner that helps one to understand the feelings of the speaker. It is highly educative as it teaches that the youthful life should be enjoyed before one gets old and wishes to go back and enjoy it. Every reader would appreciate his work as it vehemently draws an important moral lesson.
Dylan Thomas. Fern Hill. PoemHunter. https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/fern-hill/. (Accessed on 6 November, 2017).
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