The Theme Of Childhood In Fern Hill By Dylan Thomas

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We often look back at our childhood with nostalgia, longing for the good old days of playing with friends and no responsibilities. In Dylan Thomas’s six stanza poem, “Fern Hill”, the speaker emphasizes the painful conflict of past experience and present realization as he inspects his own childhood from an adult perspective. Upon the first glance, the poem reads smoothly and without interruption, almost as if spoken in one breath. With beautiful descriptions of farm life among repetitive imagery, the reader is almost hypnotized. The speaker remembers the happy times of his childhood spent at a farm called Fern Hill, describing himself as being “young and easy,” and the “prince of the apple towns.” The speaker was “green and carefree,” and throughout …show more content…
The first three stanzas of Fern Hill, without looking closely, depict a young boy living out his childhood years at a wonderful farm. There are “apple boughs” and he is “prince of the apple towns.” He described his yard as “happy” and he is “green and golden.” While these all seem like wonderful ways of describing these years of his life, there is a darker undercurrent present in the first three stanzas. The first indication of this is when he mentions that his childhood self is “happy as the grass was green,” (2) which refers to the time-bound happiness of childhood, something that will ultimately die out similar to how the leaves of grass will ultimately wither. Further diving into the stanzas, it is apparent that the poem is an adult inspection of his younger, carefree years, and every memory through his adult eyes was something allowed by time. “Time let me hail and climb Golden in the heydays of his eyes,” (3) the speaker remarks. In the next lines he shares that “I was prince of the apple towns.” If he was prince, and time was allowing him to live happily, then it can be assumed that time was king. Everything in his childhood, as seen through his adult lens, was controlled through time, and there is a constant sense that things are about to end. Instead of his childhood years like a fairy tale, beginning with “Once Upon a Time,” the speaker uses “once below a time” (6) as an indicator that everything takes place underneath …show more content…
The last stanza of the poem is where the speaker is the most irritated with his past- and in a seemingly bitter tone remarks that “Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days” He felt there was a loss of control in his life. He is connected the loss of control for what happened to friends family to Time itself. Time held him, an important aspect. It seems like time is coming after him, yet he “sang in his chains like the sea” meaning even though he was trapped and had no control over anything, hence the chains, he still sung. He sang like the sea, which represents a flowing, unstoppable concept that cannot be controlled by any means. He is mad at his old self for completely not seeing that he had no control over anything in his life and that time controls everything. He realizes that his old self was completely oblivious to the chains of

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