I Remember, I Remember

I Remember, I Remember

by Thomas Hood

I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day,
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away!

I remember, I remember,
The roses, red and white,
The vi’lets, and the lily-cups,
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday,—
The tree is living yet!

I remember, I remember,
Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then,
That is so heavy now,
And summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow!

I remember, I remember,
The fir trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
But now ‘tis little joy
To know I’m farther off from heav’n
Than when I was a boy.

Summary of I Remember, I Remember

  • Popularity of “I Remember, I Remember”: This poem was written by Thomas Hood, a great English poet, and humorist. ‘I Remember, I Remember’ is one of the best literary pieces known for its themes of childhood and recollection of joys. It was first published in 1844. The poet recalls his childhood memories and compares his childhood joy with his gloomy present. The poem deals with the wonder of life through childhood memories.
  • “I Remember, I Remember” As a Representative of Life: This poem is about the changing nature of time. The speaker recalls his blissful childhood that is still green in his memories. He recalls his bedroom with its little window where the sun used to appear every morning. He also recalls seeing many flowers in the garden around his house and the laburnum tree. The tree was planted by his brother on his birthday, which is still standing at the same place.
    The poet recalls how he used to swing and move through the air without any care in the world. He also has the memory of fir trees with their tall branches and summer pools, which refreshed him. Now, as an adult, he misses that carefree time because the real world has stolen his innocence and joy. He feels that he is away from the blessings and real happiness after growing older.
  • Major Themes in “I Remember, I Remember”: Memories, fleeting nature of time, and childhood innocence are the major themes featuring in this poem. Throughout the poem, the speaker reflects on his childhood memories and talks about the fleeting nature of time. According to the poet, the time passes leaving only memories behind. The poet believes that a child doesn’t have worries in his or her life. That is why children can take full advantage of the joys around them without feeling bothered about the tensions of the world. Therefore, to relive those moments in life, the poet takes a plunge into his memories.

Analysis of Literary Devices Used in “I Remember, I Remember”

Literary devices are tools used by writers to convey their emotions, ideas, and themes to make texts more appealing to the reader. Thomas Hood has also made this poem superb, using figurative language. Here is the analysis of some literary devices used in this poem.

  1. Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line. For example, the sound of /i / in “Came peeping in at morn” and the sound of /oo/ in “And summer pools could hardly cool.”
  2. Anaphora: It refers to the repetition of a word or expression in the first part of some verses. For example, “I remember, I remember” is repeated in all stanzas of the poem to emphasize the point of memory.
  3. Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line in quick succession. For example, the sound of /r/ in “I remember, I remember” and the sound of /r/ in “The roses, red and white” and the sound of /f/ in “My spirit flew in feathers then”.
  4. Consonance: Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line. For example, the sound of /r/ in “And where my brother set”.
  5. Enjambment: It is defined as a thought in verse that does not come to an end at a line break. Instead, it is continued in the next line or verse. For example,

“And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing.”

  1. Imagery: Imagery is used to make readers perceive things involving their five senses. For example, “The house where I was born”, “The fir trees dark and high” and “The fir trees dark and high.”
  2. Metaphor: It is a figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between different persons and objects. There is only one metaphor used in the stanza where it is stated as, ‘tis little joy. The speaker metaphorically compares his present state with his colorful childhood.

Analysis of Poetic Devices Used in “I Remember, I Remember”

Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is the analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.

  1. End Rhyme: End rhyme is used to make the stanza melodious. For example, “born/mourn”, “day/away” and “set/yet.”
  2. Rhyme Scheme: The poem follows the ABCBDEFE rhyme scheme in all the stanzas.
  3. Repetition: There is a repetition of the verse “I remember, I remember” which has created a musical quality in the poem.
  4. Refrain: The lines that are repeated again at some distance in the poems are called refrain. The verse, “I remember, I remember” is repeated with the same words, it has become a refrain as it has been repeated in all stanzas of the poem.
  5. Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. There are four stanzas in this poem with each having eight verses. An eight lined stanza is called an octave.

Quotes to be Used

The lines stated below are useful while talking about the life people enjoy in countryside or recollecting a favorite memory.

“I remember, I remember,
Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then,
That is so heavy now,
And summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow.”