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Fern Hill

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Poetry is such a classy language; poetry imitates the character and vibrancy of people and items to bring a full and realistic image.  Dylan Thomas was no different in writing his poems. An accomplished poet, he wrote poems which orchestrated the minds and hearts of many.  The poem “Fern Hill” written carefully and lovely by Dylan Thomas gave out such ideas that should be rethought and understood further, as the words were full of many other words which a reader would fond to learn more if not liberated. With “Fern Hill” you will be able to understand the values that make up life and the importance of life itself.

“Fern Hill”

“Fern Hill” is a poem written by Dylan Thomas.  It’s constructed in six stanzas. Each stanza has nine lines containing a unique rhyme scheme.  The poem in a summary is about the development of a man, from boyhood to youthfulness and adulthood. The understanding of this stages and the value of mortality as understood by man. It is a life tale or rather a tale that depicts each single growth stages of a man. The poem uses a distinctive level of rhyme scheme that is not used in most common poems. They use different rhyme schemes, possibly an alliterating and imitative rhyme that is seen in every stanza. There is the use of colors which are used to describe every single stage. The poem employs use of sound, imagery and symbols to describe awareness, mortality and other values. These essays discuss the use of those tools to identify the loss of innocence and awareness of mutability and mortality.

Awareness of Mutability and Mortality

Imagery is evident in the “Fern Hill” poem. The use of imagery is to bring the values of man and life with the likeness of other things that possess such values. Basically it is used to describe values and acts. Color is used around four times in the poem.  Color imagery is common in the poem it is the common tool that describes other tools in the poem. At the beginning of the poem, Thomas describes the happiness of a child, “happy as the grass in green”.   The grass in green completion means a happy and healthy moment, this depicts the earlier growth moments of Thomas. The green grass means taking a natural course and being full of life. In presenting the idea of mortality he describes young spirit and days as that of a “Huntsman and Herdsman”. It means that everything that is green and natural as a meaning and it focuses in life. He imprisoned the idea of the future to say that, we will live to make a life for ourselves, clearly depicting the sole purpose of mortality.  These moments dramatically change when he introduces the “fire as green as grass” line.  This means that life has changed and the course that was so natural has been altered and age has captured with the once young child and time is running out, “green and dying”.  These perfectly illustrate the value of mortality and understanding that death is another course of life (Nelson-Thomson, 2002).

Another type of color used in the poem is “golden”. Golden is used to describe time in the poem.  Golden is used by Thomas to describe the golden time that as a boy he used to play around full of fantasies, “Golden…..Time let me play”. And in the line, “Time…Golden in the mercy of his means”, depicts the value of time. He played when young but when older he plays for the mercy of the “golden” time.  Mortality and mutability are seen to be managed by time. Hence time which once was not golden at a young age becomes valuable as life becomes shorter, “once below a time” and “Time allowed”. Energy and power are also lost by old age as time has taken them away and has taken away the life, “Before…..Golden”, “Golden…..childish lands’.  Therefore mortality and mutability awareness are presented with the realization that when older time is limited than he wasted his youth time. Also he realizes that time is a green grass which time holds and which will die when time runs out, “Time held him green and dying, (Orser Sandi, 2005).

Innocence

The color white is used to describe purity and innocence.  Thomas presents this color to describe the purity and innocence of a young child. He describes himself as a “wanderer white”. Also describes himself as a wanderer white of “of the simple light”.  A wanderer is a roaming and delirious while the color white means innocence. The deeper meaning that we can derive from these lines is that he was young and confused about growing old and about the maturity processes. Innocence of old age describes the loss of innocence that he depicts when he is old, “lamb white days”. These depict the value of losing the innocence and being ready to face mortality as a white lamb means being innocent and following the path of life ( Fern Hill, Dylan Hill, n.d).

He then goes on to write about “apple bough”. Apples have been known for a long time as a tree of knowledge that led Adam and Eve being thrown out of the Garden of Eden. Hence the words represent the innocence of a child in growing up. This is interpreted by the words, ”Young once only”. The loss of innocence is also described in the words “paradise lost”. It is a depiction that shows that Thomas was a religious man who believed in life and death. Using the words “white lamb” and coining them with “paradise lost” shows the biblical meaning of a lamb or a follower who loses his ways due to the innocence that lives in him. This is interpreted by the facts of growing up with ignorance and not expecting much to change in the future.  With the use of the words “holy stream” meaning an unending life stream, Thomas believed in the biblical events that even if death is eminent life do not end there (Raymond E. Jones, 2005).

In every way “Fern Hill” is a poem that presents the realities of life since birth to old age.  It presents the common poetic language of realism and imitation in every value of life. Indeed Thomas presented a greater level of wisdom that defines being young and mortality. Combining this message with Biblically teachings and insight he defines the awareness of mutability and mortality in many forms.  The poem also defines the loss of innocence that a young lives with, wandering and playing around and not aware that  youthfulness as far as it is green is hold by time. The poems will move the reader’s emotions and beliefs at a greater length.

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