first-person speaker; by someone looking back at his childhood
Form and Meter
Open verse. Each stanza has 9 lines and follows this pattern: Line 1 and 2 have 14 syllables, line 3 has 9 syllables, line 4 has 6 syllables, line 5 has 9 syllables., line 6 and 7 have 14 syllables, line 8 has 7 syllables, line 9 has 9 syllables.
Metaphors and Similes
“like a wanderer white/ with the dew": This simile invokes an image of purity, which white often represents, and the innocence and promise of a new morning ("dew")
“in my chains like the sea”: This mournful simile is far more abstract. The moon controls the tides; perhaps the speaker feels equally controlled and confined in the adult world.
Alliteration and Assonance
Assonance: repeated assonant slant rhymes throughout the poem
Alliteration: “mercy of his means,” “huntsman and herdsman,” “clear and cold”
Protagonist and Antagonist
Adam and Eve, the Pied Piper
Metonymy and Synecdoche
“lilting house," "Time let me hail and climb /Golden in the heydays of his eyes," "In the sun that is young once only, " Time let me play and be /Golden in the mercy of his means, " "the cock on his shoulder," "the whinnying green stable "
Fern Hill Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Fern Hill is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.