Sunday, August 19, 2007

FERN HILL


With these latest two posts, I have probably really tried your patience with posts about poems I love. I'll stop for now, though there are so many, many more. Some are too long to print, including "Ode: Intimations of Immortality," and "A Few Lines Composed Above Tintern Abbey", by William Wordsworth.

What Wordsworth wrote in those two poems above, and what Dylan Thomas wrote in "Fern Hill" below, are what I felt about my childhood: My overwhelming love of nature, my freedom to roam as please, and the feeling that now, as an adult, all of this has been taken from me.


Fern Hill


~ by Dylan Thomas


Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light.


And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
And the sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.


All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air
And playing, lovely and watery
And fire green as grass.
And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars
Flying with the ricks, and the horses
Flashing into the dark.

And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
The sky gathered again
And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm
Out of the whinnying green stable
On to the fields of praise.

And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
In the sun born over and over,
I ran my heedless ways,
My wishes raced through the house high hay
And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows
In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
Before the children green and golden
Follow him out of grace.

Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
In the moon that is always rising,
Nor that riding to sleep
I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

15 comments:

Carmen said...

Dear Julie:
I am home back from my trip and let me tell you that:
I miss you!!! and every one of my blog friends! Very much!!!
I have a lot of paperwork in my desk but I couldn't help myself from coming here and read what you have been doing. I am glad to see all of this poetry honoring yourself and Daisy specially.
I am also glad seeing that you got the nice matters award, You deserved it!!!
Stay joyous and healthy!

Sheila said...

My childhood sounds much like yours. It's sad that our grandchildren [in most places anyway], will not be able to ever enjoy the same freedon.

PEA said...

Hello dear Julie:-) You post all the poems you want, after all it's your blog!! lol I've so enjoyed the ones you've shared with us, especially this one. It truly does make one want to go back to the days of childhood when everything was so carefree and innocent!! xox

miss*R said...

ahh but has it been taken from you? If you close your eyes, you still have it in your imagination and memory and no-one can take that away xoxo

Britt-Arnhild said...

Poems play an important part in my life. Thanks for the ones you are sharing.

I have written about some of my favorites from time to time......may be it is time for another one.

Gemma said...

Julie...I love poetry so very much too. Fern Hill reminded me of a special day in my childhood,
sitting in a crab apple tree....eating green apples and investigating a butterfly emerging from a cocoon.

Autumn Zephyr said...

I enjoy poetry that makes speech and life more pictureseque. Walt Whitman is my very favorite. "Song of Myself" is my favorite of his poems. All 2500 pages of it :-)

Catherine said...

You have a wonderful blog...I have enjoyed my first visit...like the poem, love poetry, keep on posting poems!! and the Holly~ hock doll was very cute, I have always wanted to try and make one..
I see from your profile we have a few of the same interest's...I love ~LOVE blue and white china, and nothing better than poking around in an antique mall, I can spot a blue & white cup, bowl, or plate a mile a way!! :) Also am a big collector!! Enjoyed my browse, will visit again soon!!

nonizamboni said...

Love your poetic posts, Julie.
'And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns.' is how I felt reading under my own little apple tree in my back yard growing up. I favored sitting in the mint that grew below the the lilac bushes even more. Thanks goodness for memories, eh?
Take good care.
Mary Ann

smilnsigh said...

Yeaaaa, another gal whose all time fav magazine was 'Victoria.' And I stopped subbing, when it went to a 'Country Living' look and was all about women starting businesses. Nothing wrong with either of those topics but... they are not what we read 'Victoria' for.

But I did check out some issues, after that, and it had tried to return more to its roots. So I was doubly sad, when they stopped publishing.

Hope the new Victoria will hold fast to 'the old ways.' :-))))

Mari-Nanci

Bimbimbie said...

keep the poems coming Julie please*!*

lila said...

I enjoyed this poem so much!
I too used to roam freely as a child on a farm....peach and apple orchards...many memories!

Rowan said...

My childhood days were carefree too, I often wish I could remember things more clearly, so many happy hours and days spent wandering the fields and lanes of Cheshire are now just fleeting, fragmented memories. If I'd realised how precious those times were I'd have tried to fix them more firmly in my mind.

Teresa said...

Why do you feel that you have lost those things from childhood? Would we have been able to write or enjoy a poem like this when we were young, do you think? I read your choice of poem this morning and then went outside and absorbed as much of its loveliness as I could. It was a delight. As was reading your blog. Like all the others who have commented I am thoroughly enjoying the poetry.

Naturegirl said...

Ahh.. yes to be ~green and carefree with nothing but time to play!~
Loved this poem..brings back childhood memories in the lines I quoted above!

At times I feel Wordsworth and his sister walk in my garden..
seriously!!

I recieved *Loreena today and I love love LOVE it!!! Thank you thank you THANK YOU!!
a beautiful gift from your heart!! hugging you NG