[Skip Navigation]

Plagiarist Poetry Sites: Plagiarist.com | Poetry X | Poetry Discussion Forums | Open Poetry Project | Joycean.org
Enter our Poetry Contest
Win Cash and Publication!

Visitors' Comments about:

Fern Hill

Dylan Thomas

Add a new comment.

A final note on a wonderful poem
Added by: Starejosel
Though there are many interesting as well as foolish comments here, no one seems to have noticed the last two lines of the poem,

"Time held me green and dying,
Though I sang in my chains like the sea."

After evoking his childhood and lamenting its end throughout the poem, Thomas ends by referring to writing poetry in the face of death. It is an ending simultaneously resigned and defiant.
Added by: Sam
"Time held me green and dying thoughI sang in my chains like the sea." This repetition of green and entrance of singing in the face of death implies that the man from the poem lived a happy and satisfying life and he is a person who is not afraid of death. about religion, i think he used religion to get the feelings across, but that doesn't make the poem religious....childhood is something far different than religion, and childhood is what thomas dylan was trying to paint here.
Added by: Sam
well obviously, the reason he uses green at the end isn't because hes changing the meaning, its to show that even though he's dying, he's still happy and satisfied.
insanity,in its purest form.
Added by: matt
Personally I must say, "this poem sucks." Honestly folks who understands this? if you do please enlightin me on who one metasphor (green) can be used to symbolise 20 diffrent things (such as fire)? I will have you know that there is no relation what so ever to fire and the color green.

I do understand it at all. If this man died from drinking was he drinking as he wrote this? You may SAY you understand this, but you do not. You are only saying things to look good.

There are religous examples in it. None of which had anything to do with anything.

So please enlightin me on how this poem is liked in any way.
Added by: jone
how can you people be so rude? people taken very mcuh time to write this peice of writting and you just insalt it? this is un acceptable! you hsould ahve resepct for others
Added by: Marie-Louise
I should imagine that by ending the poem with 'green and dying', Thomas is neither changing the meaning nor is he happy with dying (cf his poem to his father, 'do not go gently into the night'). Rather, he is expanding on the meaning of green. In 'our' culture, green has connotations of innocence, youth, freshness, which at a first reading is apparrent in the first four, perhaps five, stanzas. In the last stanza, however, he uses another connotation of green, namely decay. The implication might even be that even youth is always in the shadow of death, even though we may 'sing' happily without seeing its significance. In this light, re-reading the poem shows a certain youthful arrogance - green, after all, also simbolises immaturity.

But please don't take him too literally - as for fire not being green, forget the image. Can't you FEEL that fire has something in common with a pure greenness? I could go out on a limb now and speculate that fire burning brings the same kind of change that passing time (the different readings of 'green') does, but it's much more important that one goes with the flow and enjoys the poem.

Read the poem out loud, or even better, find a recording (a friend of mine once said you can only understand Dylan Thomas once you've heard the poem, and you can only possibly read it out loud if you understand it). As Adam said, feel it. Enjoy.

Now can anyone please tell us whether he was religious or not?
Fern Hill
Added by: Jason
firstly for the people who believe this poem is crap-u are extremely ignorant and shouldn't even be reading Fern hill in the first place if you can't enjopy it.

This piece of literature is extraordinary. How hard is it to write a poem that is so deep and meaningful using images and illusions? very challenging. If the band i'm in could even dream anything close to this as lyrics for a song, we would be famous.

Thomas is describing the loss of innocence and the gradual ageing process that every human being goes through. This loss of innocence however starts when we gain knowledge of sex. as was in the garden of eden when adam and eve tasted the forbidden fruit and were banished from paradise. by eating that apple they became aware of sexuality. example of this-they suddenly put on clothes. in fern hill "up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand." and guess what happens in the loft.

that's only 1 idea in this poem. the poem is about time and how we can have no control of it. we are young and innocent but nothing is everlasting. time will always impact on us and is controlling us in a sense of limits. The only way we can have some escape from this inevitability of death and time is the power of memory. We can restore or at least be aware of the innocence we once had.

So next time you remark on this poem in a negative way, at least try and think of what he is meaning, it doesn't really take that much thought.
Fern Hill
Added by: Raj
Wow!. What a poem....truly exceptional. This poem is primaraly about the imaginary childhood of the poet. Also there is a subtle tone of death evident in the last stages of poem. But it is classy of the poet to say "Time held me green and dying Though I sang in my chains like the sea". What he wants to convey is that even though he know that his death is near, he has enjoyed evrybit of his younger childhood"greener times.He dosen't feel overhelmed by the thought of death but he admits he is concerned about it.
Added by: Daniel
People that do not get this poem, buy a dictionary. You would be surprised to know that many words can carry multiple definitions outside of their daily meanings, and when used properly can convey a variety of images like they do here. Green is more then a colour and fire is more then combustion. If "Fire green as grass" is a stumbling block for you I would recommend you retake your literary analysis class or whatever it is your taking.

Also while religious imagery is used, it is only to carry the primary message. Not everything is about the glory of god and some kind of revelation, sometimes you can use religion and its icons for a message outside of "praise the lord". When your talking about youth, glory of innocence and timeless days Adam and Eve are an excellent way to say much in so little. The very end of youth and Adam and Eve is knowledge, real life and the tree, and both are a beginning to an end of something. It takes a great fool abstract something so far that it ignores everything that is important in the language.

Buy a dictionary and use it, and stop trying to make everything be about god.
Fern Hill
Added by: Nick Mallory
Dylan Thomas was a genius and 'Fern Hill' is one of his finest works.

His poetry was written in his youth - almost seventy years ago now - but like all true art it is timeless and hasn't aged a day. It's fresh for every new reader and everyone who reads it gets something new out of it.

This is not an academic crossword puzzle written to be deciphered in stuffy university rooms, it is an expression of perfect youth, written in celebration of life and in defiance, yet acceptance of death.

The metaphors are things of beauty in themselves. This is not science. This is art. You might as well ask what a painting or a symphony means. It's silly to try to translate one artform into another. The more you know about the poet, and the poem, the more you get out of it, up to a point, but Dylan should be famous for his wonderful work, not the sad circumstances of much of his life.

Don't read this poem, or the rest of his work, because you have to, because your teacher told you to, read it because it'll make you see the world differently. You are a different person, just a little, after reading such a great poem. It's like when your with your true love, you're lifted out of yourself and then return changed, and changed for the better.

If you can recite a little Dylan Thomas you're also going to impress the ladies far more than any tattoo is ever going to do. Turn down the rap for just a moment and sing in your chains like the sea.

» Add a new comment.

« Return to the poem page.