Talking about the Past (III): Comparing Past and Present

Chapter: Past and Present

Vocabulary in use

Find the rhyming words for the following words from the poem

a. born - morn
b. sun - one
c. day - may
d. set - net
e. swing - ring
f. high - sky
g. joy - boy

Fill in the blank spaces with the appropriate form of the words in the bold face from the poem.

a. The tree on which the poet's brother used to set the laburnum is still there.
b. The sun used to peep in the poet's house in the morning through the little window of the house.
c. The poet used to think the air must rush as fresh to swallows on the wings.
d. The poet used to think the slender tops of the trees might touch the sky.
e. The poet said that his spirit used to fly in feathers then but now it's so heavy.

Match the words in column A with their meanings in column B.

Column A Column B
peep to look quickly and secretly at something
violets a small plant with purple or white flowers with a sweet smell that appear in spring
lily a large white or brightly coloured flower with petals that curl back from the centre
laburnum a small tree with hanging bunches of yellow flowers
slender thin or narrow
spirit the part of a person that include their mind, feeling and character
lilac a bush or small tree with purple or white flowers with a sweet smell that grow closely together in the shape of a cone

Reading comprehension

Read the poem again and answer the following questions.

a. Who composed this poem?

The poem was composed by Thomas Hood.

b. What is the poem about?

The poem is about the speaker's memories of their childhood and the changes that have occurred over time. The speaker looks back on their past and reflects on the passage of time and the sense of loss and nostalgia that often comes with it.

c. What does the poet remember in the first stanza?

In the first stanza, the poet remembers the house where they were born and the little window where the sun used to come in at dawn.

d. What does he wish in the first stanza?

In the first stanza, the poet wishes that the night had borne their breath away, possibly expressing a sense of regret or longing for the past.

e. What does he remember in the second stanza?

In the second stanza, the poet remembers the roses, violets, and lily-cups in the garden, as well as the lilac bush where the robin built its nest and the laburnum tree that their brother planted on his birthday.

f. How does the poet describe his childhood in the third stanza?

In the third stanza, the poet describes their childhood as a time when they were carefree and their spirit flew in feathers.

g. Was the poet really closer to the heaven when he was a child? Why does he think so?

The poet may feel that they are further from heaven in a metaphorical sense because they are no longer as carefree and innocent as they were in their youth. This interpretation is supported by the description of the poet's spirit flying in feathers in the third stanza, which suggests a sense of freedom and lightness that the poet no longer feels. Overall, the poem seems to be using the idea of being closer or farther from heaven as a way of expressing the poet's feelings about the passage of time and the changes that have occurred in their life.

Fill in the gaps with the suitable words or phrases from the box.

in the morning, swing, born, cool, spirit, brother, present, slender, fir, childhood, joy

In the poem 'Past and Present', the poet initially portrays his childhood and the house where he was born. Those beautiful days when the sun rays came peeping through his window in the morning are still vivid in his memory. In the second stanza, he remembers the days of his childhood where he used to see and feel the beautiful colours of roses and lilies and the lilacs. In the same way, he talks about the tree in which he and his brother used to set the laburnum on his brother's birthday.

The third and fourth stanzas show the contrast experience of his past and present. He vividly remembers how he used to swing, enjoy the breeze and wind. In the same way, he was all energetic and high in spirit. But now, he does not have energy to lift his slender frame. The water in the pool was cool and pleasant but now it is not cool enough to cool his fever. Finally, he says how he used to think in the wildest manners about slender trees and their slender tops which could touch the sky. Now he misses his joy of his childhood and realises that nothing is attainable.

Compare your present life with your childhood. Make notes of the main differences and present it to the class.

As an adult, I have noticed many differences between my present life and my childhood. When I was a child, I was much more physically agile and energetic than I am now. I used to be able to run faster, jump higher, and perform other physical activities with more ease and enthusiasm than I can now. My mental abilities have also changed over time. As a child, I was still developing my cognitive and intellectual abilities, and I had a limited understanding of the world around me compared to what I have now. Now, I have more developed critical thinking skills and a deeper understanding of complex ideas and concepts. In terms of responsibilities, I had much fewer responsibilities as a child than I do now. As a child, I did not have to worry about things like paying bills, holding down a job, or raising a family. Now, I have many different responsibilities and commitments that I need to manage on a daily basis. Emotionally, I have also changed a lot since my childhood. As a child, I was still learning how to manage my emotions and cope with the challenges of life. I may have experienced a wider range of emotions than I do now, and I may not yet have developed the coping mechanisms that I use now to deal with difficult situations. In terms of life experiences, I have also changed a lot since my childhood. As a child, I was still in the process of developing my knowledge and understanding of the world, and I had not yet had the same range of life experiences that I have now. Now, I have encountered a wide variety of people, places, and situations, and I have a deeper understanding of the world as a result.


Imagine you have been to the nearest city after five years. Now write at least ten changes you have noticed there.

Last Saturday, I visited the Bhotewodar city of Lamjung after five years and noticed many changes. There were new buildings that hadn't been there before, such as office buildings, apartment complexes, and shopping malls. Some of the older buildings in the city had undergone renovations or upgrades, with new paint, windows, or facades. The city seemed more crowded than before, with more traffic on the roads and more cars, buses, and other vehicles on the move. The landscape of the city had changed as well, with new parks, green spaces, or other public areas popping up. There were also new businesses in the city that I hadn't noticed before, such as restaurants, coffee shops, or stores. The population of the city seemed to have changed as well, with new residents moving in and others moving out. The city had adopted new technologies that weren't there before, such as self-driving cars, smart traffic systems, or new forms of public transportation. The city had a different feel to it now than it did before, with new festivals, events, or cultural activities taking place. The city seemed to be more environmentally friendly now, with new recycling programs, green initiatives, or other efforts to reduce waste and pollution. The city seemed to be experiencing different economic conditions now than it was before, with new industries or businesses thriving or struggling. Overall, the city had changed quite a bit since my last visit five years ago.

Wangden has been working as an interpreter in a trekking company for five years. He prepares a report on how the company has undergone change over time. Complete the report.

When I joined the company five years ago, there were only 20 staff members. Now, there are 50 staff members in the company. The number of clients we serve has also increased significantly since I first started working here. In the past, we would only serve a few hundred clients per year, but now we serve thousands of clients each year. The types of services we offer have also expanded over time. In the past, we only offered trekking and hiking tours, but now we also offer rafting, paragliding, and other adventure activities. We have also introduced new destinations and routes for our tours. In the past, we only operated in a few areas of the country, but now we have tours all over Nepal. We have also implemented new technologies to improve the efficiency and safety of our operations. For example, we now use GPS tracking for our tours and have introduced new safety protocols for our guides and clients. Overall, I have seen the company undergo significant changes in the five years that I have been working here.


Do you remember your childhood days? Do you still have the same habits that you had in your childhood? Write an account of your childhood experience.

Yes, I remember my childhood days very vividly. When I was a child, I used to love playing outside with my friends and exploring the world around me. I was always very active and loved trying new things and having adventures. One of my favorite memories from childhood is spending summers at my grandparents' house, where we would swim in the lake, ride bikes, and play outdoor games like capture the flag. I also loved spending time with my family, especially at holidays and special occasions when we would all come together and have big dinners and celebrations.

As for my habits, there are a few that I still have from my childhood. One of them is my love of reading. I was always a big reader as a child, and I would spend hours lost in a good book. I still enjoy reading now, and I often find myself getting lost in a good book just like I did when I was a child. Another habit that I still have from childhood is my love of being organized and planning things out. I was always very organized as a child, and I still enjoy making lists and planning out my day or week. Finally, I still have a love of adventure and trying new things that I developed as a child. I always enjoyed trying new activities and experiencing new things, and I still enjoy doing that now.

Overall, my childhood was a happy and fulfilling time, and I have many fond memories of it. These memories and habits have stayed with me throughout my life and have helped shape who I am today.

Share your experience with your friends what you used to do when you were at primary level. Try to remember at least ten interesting activities that you used to/did not use to do.

When I was eight years old, I used to love playing sports such as soccer, basketball, or football, either as part of a school team or with friends in my free time. I also enjoyed creative activities like drawing, painting, or creating art projects. Reading was also something that I enjoyed, and I would often spend hours lost in a good book. I also participated in music and drama, singing, playing a musical instrument, or acting in plays or performances. Field trips to museums, zoos, or other places of interest were always a highlight for me, and I loved learning about science through experiments and projects. I enjoyed spending time with my friends and playing games or engaging in other activities, and I also liked going on nature walks and exploring the outdoors. Overall, I had a lot of fun participating in all of these activities when I was eight years old.