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Time in Thomas' Fern Hill and Cummings' anyone lived in a pretty how town

Project id 1004464
Subject area Other
Document type Essay
Words 1963
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"Historically speaking,time is lost; poetically speaking,time is regained in the action of visionary production" (Crewe 400). Poetry allows for the capture of a moment in time otherwise lost in the blink of an eye. British poet Dylan Thomas and American poet E.E. Cummings have both been noted for the recurring themes of passing of time in their poetry. In Thomas' "Fern Hill" and Cummings' "anyone lived in a pretty how town," both modern poets use a juxtaposition of both paradoxes to express the irrevocable passage of time and the loss of innocence attributed to it. While Thomas endeavors his adult feelings into a nostalgic website of his youth, Cummings takes a deeper approach by telling a seemingly trivial, paradoxical story of "noone" and "anyone," that through negation informs a universal life story. "Fern Hill" is a private account, Thomas' nostalgic revisit to some place where as a child he'd spent time with his cousins. By means of this sentimental revisit, he comes to realize the inevitable passing of time and a resulting loss of innocence. The poem was actually triggered by his visits to Fern Hill as an adult during a time of war. Following Thomas's hometown Swansea in Wales was murdered by the Nazi air campaign against Great Britain, Thomas' parents moved out to their cabin close to the farm of Fernhill. " [Thomas'] visits to his parents during the war triggered the memories of the joyful Edenic occasions when he was young and ideas of war were still distant" (Miller 99). In this poem, he revisits both his own youth, and,symbolically, the childhood and prewar innocence of the country. "Anyone lived in a pretty how town," is less personal. A romance made insignificant through the use of "noone" and "anyone," this poem plays.

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