Course Hero. "Fern Hill Study Guide." Course Hero. 13 Nov. 2020. Web. 28 Mar. 2023. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fern-Hill/>.
Course Hero. (2020, November 13). Fern Hill Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved March 28, 2023, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fern-Hill/
(Course Hero, 2020)
Course Hero. "Fern Hill Study Guide." November 13, 2020. Accessed March 28, 2023. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fern-Hill/.
Course Hero, "Fern Hill Study Guide," November 13, 2020, accessed March 28, 2023, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fern-Hill/.
The sense of nostalgia is palpable in the poem "Fern Hill." The longing to return to a state of innocence and security is a common thread throughout the entire work. The speaker regrets that he had to grow up and leave a state of grace to embrace sadness, exile, and a separation from nature. He likens this separation to the fall from grace experienced by Adam and Eve in the Bible. The speaker looks back on his time at Fern Hill and realizes that he was very lucky to have had these experiences. He urges the reader to try and regain some part of what was lost.
Time is presented as a character in "Fern Hill" as real as any other. It acts as a playmate who allows the speaker to "hail and climb" in blissful ignorance of reality and the adult world. When the speaker is a child, Time works in his best interest. This alliance does not last because in the end Time eventually throws him out of paradise. The theme of Time revolves around the message that Time is always the one in control and everyone feels the loss of time when they reach maturity and enter the adult world. Instead of feeling free like he did when he was a child, the speaker now feels chained and weighed down by responsibilities.
The wonders and joys of youth are represented as fleeting and the speaker suggests that there is a type of divinity that surrounds the innocence of this time in everyone's life. Time and maturity taint that innocence and bring regret. The speaker muses that children do not appreciate what they have when they are young. Children are naive and do not often consider such weighty matters as life and death. Because of this naivete, the speaker calls childhood the most blissfully happy time in anyone's life. He is saddened that every child must inevitably come to realize that not every day will be happy.