Tag Archives: disabledstudent

Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas

Close Reading

I found this particularly difficult as I had atrocious brain fog this year. A lot of distractions with my care agency handing my contract back to social services.

My first discernible thought is that the poem shows movement through time with seasonal references throughout.

“…happy as the grass was green”

A symbolic gesture towards spring, whereas later in the poem it nods towards the end of summer.

“…………………….., the hay

Fields high as a house,”

Ending with childless land and lamb white days, Thomas also reflects on the changing light through the seasons, from golden spring glow to white winter’s glare.

The imagery is vivid in this poem and it certainly brings images of farms and childhood. Of laughter and freedom. Lack of responsibility and growing. Using crops to symbolise the growing and maturing of a child into adulthood. The use of alliteration and consonance as poetic devices are apparent, even if Thomas’ lines are spread over many.

As to a rhythm there is one, its took me ages to find it.

My syllable counting of the poem.

Took me a whole evening to count the syllables in this poem to find a rhythm.

There’s a choppiness to the rhythm which I find reminds me of being easily distracted as a child. The meandering between activities, with school interjected between fun.

He also uses personification to add human qualities to the changing sun and seasons. I think this adds to the metaphors and enhances the symbolism of growth, time and life.

My scribblings on FernHill

I get to a point where I’ve read it so many times with brain fog that it becomes a jumble of words.

The last two lines confuse me. They seem to be referring to some constraint, and I can only allude to meaning, maybe the responsibilities which comes with adulthood, and with age, mortality.

“Time held me green and dying,

Though I sang in my chains like the sea”

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Getting back in the saddle

So I had a disastrous year for my mental health. Between social services’ “crisis management team” not reading my notes on PTSD, a rude neurologist who believes that M.E. is psychological, and the incredibly stressful process of an OIA appeal against OCA and disabled student allowance, I’m finally finding my feet again.

The brain fog has been horrendous and the Complex PTSD keeps setting off my ME. It’s been incredibly difficult to find my baseline to restart pacing. The pain in both my body and spirit has been overwhelming, with no room to process anything else. It started to settle after my local NHS wellbeing service finally found space for me, however after an assessment they told me they couldn’t help as my case was too complicated. I feel really fragile and am hoping that my degree will distract me until I can actually get some counselling. It’s proving difficult to self refer, and the NHS claim they can’t help. Depression seeped into my life and its been hard to find any motivation to get dressed, let alone read course notes.

The OCA has been deafeningly silent. I apparently have a new tutor.

As I try to pick myself up and move on with my degree I wonder what obstacles I’ll have this year. I had to withdraw my appeal for a non medical helper last year due to my mental health, and I wonder how bad asking for help will be this year. Everyone claims that the disabled student allowance is supposed to provide help, but what I need is assistance to get around. When you can’t even leave your house without assistance telling me to get a book out of the library is as difficult as flying to mars. No-one understands. The course material states I should go to a gallery, engage with art first hand, that secondary resources aren’t as good. What happens when you physically can’t get out?