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“Fern Hill” as a Nostalgic Panegyric to Youth Essay Sample

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 “When I grow up, I want to be a spaceman!” said a little boy. “I cannot wait anymore to grow up. When I grow up…When just I grow up”. The little boy finally grew up and truly left his youth in the rear. He wanted for nary a thing which he had wished away, did he? Prudence is a small compensation for youth loss and some people do not receive even this small amends. This wisdom allows people to keep in mind the youth days full of wonder, joy and childish imagination. Unfortunately, the time passes so fast, that everyone is unable to notice this. It is true; the green period cannot last forever. This is a concept Dylan Thomas written his poem “Fern Hill” around. This nostalgic panegyric to youth is an exciting story about the man, who remembers his youthful past and wonderful childhood, his longing for the loss of the world of innocence. 

The wonder of “Fern Hill” comes from Dylan Thomas as a narrator’s affection for the perfect memories of his youthfulness.  In his poem author uses the right word choice which reflects “green and carefree” youth natural world, childish imagination, author’s own explorations, enjoying the simple things as an act of climbing a tree or hunting, the little boy is satisfied with everything he sees around. The act of herding brings the child an enormous happiness. The joy in the running the “house high hay” and awaking to the first cover of snow make the child consequently pleased. The poem has a nostalgic nature, which imparts the person who reads the same melancholy. These nostalgias cause memories, which connect the reader to the storyteller on an individual level. The little boy recalls his carefree, easygoing and cheery life. Rich meadows, wood valleys, friendly playgrounds and attractive apple orchids surround the narrator during his childhood. The author remembers the time when he was lying carefree under the apple tree, dark with a shadow and having no care about the world. “And honored among wagons I was prince of the apple towns” (6). It is the most emotional line to the regard shows the childish thoughts in all its beauty. Thomas uses such phrases as “once upon a time” which are the traditional beginning of a fairy tale, “once below a time” adds here the idea of timelessness, because yet this time has not become important for a little boy. In the second stanza, the author carries the same feelings “And as I was green and carefree…” (10), and “Time let me play and be” (13). The storyteller says, “And the Sabbath rang slowly” (17), which conveys a sense of time passing slowly, as it often seems in childhood.

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There is a special sense of happiness during the children lifetime, which author tries to show the reader in remembrance of youthfulness. As it is already known, typically every child dreams to be a knight, a superhero, a prince or a princess. The author, like most other children, pretend to be something, or someone else, which is a reference to the youth dreams the reader heartstrings to a compulsory beat. It is a peculiar form of a connection between a reader and the author in separate-but-equal remembrance and desire.  

As the season passes so does the youth fleets from the youthful in a due time, and Dylan Thomas uses simple, but yet powerful, concept to describe the reader his feelings and worrying about his past time on the farm, and his memories dedicated to it. He describes this time as a fairy tale, as his own, narrator’s, real life tale. Suddenly the youthfulness disappears and the narrator says “And then to awake” (28). These words begin the fourth stanza which focuses on the metaphorical rebirth. At this time, the author experiences an adulthood. He says “Like a wanderer white with the dew, come back…” (28-29), while he desires to be a lighthearted kid just the once again. Dylan Thomas says “It was all shining, it was Adam and maiden” (29-30), symbolic of the author’s romantic experiences. Dylan Thomas contains the whole adulthood in one stanza. The author dedicates first three stanzas to remember his childhood and last two stanzas to old age. When the author says “And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows” (42), happens something restraining. He tells about being careless again, the same way as in the babyhood, but now he is careless out of sour apathy, as a replacement for childish innocence.  The fourth stanza draws the picture of the farm. That time, the sun was a bright warm. The boy could listen the wind whistling through the chimneys, it remained him a friendly melody. As a night approaches, the boy remembers other childish memories as he goes to sleep to the sound of the night:

As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,

All the moon long I heard, I blessed among stables, the nightjars,

Flying with the ricks, and the horses

Flashing into the dark. (24 – 27)

Many night creatures are introduced to the reader, as owls, horses and a nightjar. This description adds images and sound to create somber surroundings. “Sleeping” in this poem represents the loss of innocence that equates the Adam and Eve who were sleeping after the fall from the Grace of God. This commencement of the world of prime of life entails the pasting of Edenic bliss, freedom, innocence and grace. Furthermore, writer loses creative thoughts and fantasies in which a joining mutually with the natural world was achievable. The next stanza author describes the seasons, how frequently they flown in the farm during his childhood. First spring, with its green blaze and sparkling bloom. After that summer, with its heat and idle streams. The next is autumn, with its “house high hay”, the season of harvest. The last is winter, with its alabaster shine and light, cool sunlight. Suddenly the youthfulness disappears and the narrator says “And then to awake” (28).  Therefore, the first four stanzas originate, and then give the way to the next two which are able to show the speaker’s prudence. Probably some retrospection unfairness in narrator’s admiration of and enjoyment at the follies of his adolescence, although there is a suggestion of regret, as it was predictable to lose his childhood, while the storyteller says, “Time held me green and dying/Though I sang in my chains like the sea” (53-54). In the final stanza, the time is moving so quickly that the author says “In the moon that is always rising” (48). It is not the same as it was before, in the childhood. The author speaks more about caring and his childish memories. The final few lines of the poem bring the writer back to a real world that life is full of sadness and joys. All superior things approach the end. While the end draws near someone, person starts to understand how perfect the life was, why it was not appreciated. Everyone also keeps in mind what a future can bring. In early days, living seems to be longer and never-ending. As the youthfulness pasts the days turn out to be also shorter.

Emotional Picture of “Fern Hill” 

“Fern Hill” provides the reader a sense of quiet melancholy in consequence making it a result of understanding almost worthy of the trade of adolescence. This elegiac poem focuses on one man’s nostalgia into the early days passed by. The author, Dylan Thomas, uses the whole thing from language to notch to get the reader’s concentration and join the reader to the poem-text. This poem reminds people to hold on and realize the infancy reminiscences. People have to appreciate childhood memories, as they are extremely important and play an integral role in everyone’s adulthood. When people grow up, they start to reflect the babyhood. Childhood – is the happiest period, as it is carefree. Everything seems to be perfect, beautiful and hatred free. A child dreams to grow up as fast as possible, because it seems that youngster will be able to realize all his funny and childish dreams. Unfortunately, dreams not often come true, and the person realizes it just in the adulthood, when he or she achieves some wisdom during the lifetime. With the advent of wisdom comes the desire of becoming adolescent, always to stay young. For none are resistant to the working of time’s genuineness: time will pass, heartless, rude. Anyone cannot change this, in spite of enormous wish. Everyone wishes to turn back to the youth and to relive own life one more time, even without changing anything. Becoming an older makes a person lose the world of innocence. Older people become crueler and do not think marvelous things often about all around the world. As one unknown author told, “… It is in the remembering that we can cherish the joys of what were; it is in the same memories we can be sad for that which is no more, and it is in knowing both, that we realize that we can live life to the fullest”.

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