Hi there, Should I write the substance of a poem In past tense or in present tense?
Here are a few lines of the poem owl:
- Downhill I came, hungry, and yet not starved;
Cold, yet had heat within me that was proof
Against the North wind; tired, yet so that rest
Had seemed the sweetest thing under a roof.
Here's the link Vintage Poetry: 'The Owl' by Edward Thomas - discourse by Frank McMahon - DIY Poets
Here's the substance written by me: Should I use past tense or Present tense?
- The poet comes/came down a hill. He is/was hungry, tired and feeling cold. But he is/was not really starving. He could/can still relish a shelter under a roof, and have/had sufficient warmth within him to resist the cold wind. He gets/got food, fire and rest in an inn. He is/was protected from the darkness and cold that prevailed outside the inn. But he cannot/could not avoid hearing the sad note of an owl coming distinctly from a hill. The cry of the owl seems/seemed to remind him of those soldiers and poor people who have/had not been able to get food and shelter. So, although he gets/got food and rest, he cannot/could not enjoy himself.
I think past and present both tenses can be used but present tense is better. What do you think?
One more question, should I use past tense or present in answer to the following question?
- Question: Describe the feelings of the poet on hearing the cry of the owl.
- Answer:- The owl's cry was/is sad and piercing. It makes/made the poet ponder over the plight of the homeless poor and the soldiers fighting at the front. They have/had to starve and spend the cold winter nights in the open, under the sky. The poet feels/felt sad for the misery of those people. The owl's cry picks/picked his conscience. He cannot/could not enjoy his food and rest?
The question is in my text book with the above answer that is written in past tense. But I think present tense can also be used. What do you think? Which tense would you prefer?
I asked a similar a few days ago question where the members said it is conventional to use present tense in story telling
Here's the link.
My problem in this question is that in this poem "the owl" the poet used past tense through out the poem. So can I use present tense for the description and substance.
Please don't mind I am asking this again so that I can understand it better.