Fern Hill : literary devices

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Fern Hill is a notable literary work by Dylan Thomas. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of Fern Hill.

literary devices

Fern Hill” is the most celebrated poem by the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, written in 1945. It is a nostalgic and reflective poem that explores some remarkable literary devices.


The poem is rich with sensory imagery, vividly describing scenes from the speaker’s youth and nature, which helps evoke emotions and create a solid visual experience for the reader.


The poem uses metaphors like “time’s leaves” to compare the stages of life to leaves changing and falling, emphasizing the passage of time and ageing.


The poem employs various symbols, such as “leaves,” “sun,” “apple town,” and “night and stars,” to convey deeper meanings and themes within the text.


The sun is personified as being “young once only,” attributing human qualities of youth and vitality to a natural element.


The repetition of initial consonant sounds in words, as in “green and golden,” “strawberry,” and “sapphire,” creates a musical quality and rhythm in the poem.


The repetition of phrases like “young and easy” and “time let me” emphasizes their significance and contributes to the poem’s rhythmic pattern.


The poem uses hyperbolic language, such as “happy as the grass is green,” to exaggerate the joy and intensity of the speaker’s memories.


The phrase “young and easy” combines contradictory terms, highlighting the paradox of carefree youth and the fleeting nature of time.


The reference to the biblical story of Eden (“in the sun that is young once only”) alludes to innocence, paradise, and the inevitability of growing older.



Symbolize the passage of time and the stages of life, from the “green and golden” days of youth to the inevitable fading and falling of leaves, representing ageing and mortality.


Represents the ephemeral nature of youth and vitality. The image of the “sun that is young once only” emphasizes the idea that youth is a fleeting and irretrievable moment in life.

Apple Town

Symbolizes the speaker’s innocent and carefree experiences during childhood. It’s a place of happiness and nostalgia, contrasting with the speaker’s later awareness of the transience of life.

Farm and Hill

Represent the idyllic setting of the speaker’s childhood, evoking a sense of innocence and freedom. As the poem progresses, they symbolize the loss of innocence and the realization of mortality.

Sheep and Hills

Symbolize the simplicity and beauty of the natural world that the speaker enjoyed during his youth. They also reflect the cyclical nature of life, as sheep and hills continue to exist even as individuals grow and change.

Night and Stars

Convey the transition from life to death and the idea of continuity. The “night” symbolizes the end of life, while the “stars” suggest the eternal existence of those who have passed away.