Fern Hill

Fern Hill (1946), pivotal poem in the career of Dylan Thomas, was the last poem included in his book "Deaths and Entrances". The poem starts as a straightforward evocation of his youthful visits to his aunts::Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs:About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,

In the middle section, the idyllic scene is expanded upon, reinforced by the lilting rhythm of the poem, the dreamlike, pastoral metaphors and allusion to scenes from the Garden of Eden. By the end, the poet's older voice has taken over, mourning his lost youth with echoes of the opening::Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,:Time held me green and dying:Though I sang in my chains like the sea. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/dylanthomas/bibliography/pages/fern_hill.shtml BBC page] ]

The poem uses internal half rhyme and full rhyme as well as end rhyme. Thomas was very conscious of the impact of spoken or intoned verse and explored the potentialities of sound and rhythm, in a manner reminiscent of Gerard Manley Hopkins, as exemplified by the complex rhyme scheme of "Fern Hill". "In the White Giant's Thigh," "In Country Sleep" and other poems which were constructed in a similar manner. [ [http://encarta.msn.com/text_761568296___0/Poetry.html Encarta's poetry page] ]

References

* [http://web.archive.org/web/20080129234808/http://www.undermilkwood.net/index.html The Life and Work of Dylan Thomas (archive)]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/dylanthomas/bibliography/pages/fern_hill.shtml]


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