Tag Archive: nature

Reschooling with Poetry: Fern Hill

This is one of several poems I’ve come across lately about childhood, school, and growing up.

I read “Fern Hill” for the first time in high school English. It captured my nostalgia for what I remember as a fairly idyllic childhood, which gave me a bit of a Peter Pan complex. Why grow up if being a kid is this magical? I’m sure it wasn’t actually quite so perfect for any of us, but like many, I tend to romanticize the past. I especially love the last line of this poem.

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.


Nothing Gold Can Stay

I’m still in Mississippi, returning to California on Wednesday morning. I’ll post in the next few days with an update on my stay in the south and details on upcoming plans for college and the springtime. In the meantime, I wanted to say thank you to my newest donors. The list on my home page is quickly growing!

I also want to start writing brief posts in addition to the longer ones. Most bloggers base short entries around a single thought or photo, whereas I usually write more developed, magazine-style pieces. I hope that I’ll be able to share more of my experiences with you if I don’t need every post to have a crafted introduction, body, and conclusion like those five-paragraph essays we all know and love.


Outdoor Education

Sixth-grade outdoor education stands as one of my all-time best school experiences. Visiting Mendocino Woodlands, which is located about three hours north of Sonoma, was my first meaningful connection with nature, and with my peers. Singing around a campfire and nervously hiking in dark woods together bonded us in a way that no activity on campus could. We went in October 1991 — 17 years ago exactly — shortly after starting middle school, and the trip set a positive tone for the rest of the year. I recorded in my journal that my classmates and I had named our small group “The Poisonous Flying Raccoons” (see reference below) and they had nicknamed me “Bob.” Don’t ask me why, but I liked it. I penciled in my slanting cursive about Outdoor Ed, “I wish it would never end.” As a senior in high school, I still remembered the week vividly and wrote the following poem about it.