This question already has an answer here:
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: click
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?
Can any teacher or anyone who knows the language well please answer this?