Course Hero Logo

Fern Hill | Study Guide

Dylan Thomas

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Fern Hill Study Guide." Course Hero. 13 Nov. 2020. Web. 28 Mar. 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2020, November 13). Fern Hill Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved March 28, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2020)



Course Hero. "Fern Hill Study Guide." November 13, 2020. Accessed March 28, 2023.


Course Hero, "Fern Hill Study Guide," November 13, 2020, accessed March 28, 2023,

Fern Hill | Themes



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.

Presumptive Nature of the Young

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.

Questions for Themes

View all
Respond: Part 1: In “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness” Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe critiques Conrad’s representation of Africa and European imperialism. Discuss Achebe’s ow
This class focuses on academic arguments, and to make academic arguments, you often have to use research to strengthen your argument. This assignment will help fulfill the outcome of Information Liter
Can you please revise this for me. Please attach a 250-500 word essay on a critical policy, economic or social issue of your choice that is relevant to the institute to which you are applying ( I appl
write a comparison/contrast essay on one of the topics listed below. Topic One: Using "I'm Your Teacher, Not Your Internet Provider" as one of your sources, write an essay comparing and contrasting di
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Fern Hill? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!