Dylan Thomas’ Fern Hill

This paper discusses Dylan Thomas’ pastoral poem Fern Hill, the real and the ideal, innocence and experience.

Pastoral poems, like most other poems, have certain characteristics, or conventions, that tend to separate them from the rest. One basic element that is very commonly thought of is that a pastoral poem deals heavily with images of nature, like green grass, fruit trees, and warm, sunny days. This, however, can be misleading. A better characteristic to look for besides the frequent references to nature is a contrast introduced in the poem.

The variations of contrasts are numerous. A fair example would be contrasting the simple life with the complex. Along this line one can also see contrasts between real and ideal, desirable and undesirable, innocence and experience, and what is and what ought to be. When reading pastoral poems it should be noted that, though they are similar in so far as they observe the …