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The Clock Tower

Writer:- Bhupi Sherchan


The poem “The Clock Tower” by Bhupi Sherchan reflects on the disappearance of old military outfits and highlights two cherished souvenirs that represent the military life. The speaker observes how the uniforms have been worn out, damaged, or passed on to others, but two items remain: an old pocket watch hanging from the neck and an ancient hat on the head. These objects symbolize the passage of time and the weight of responsibility carried by veterans. The poem also mentions the presence of Ranipokhari, a historic pond, and Ghantaghar, the clock tower, which add a sense of nostalgia and contemplation. Overall, the poem explores themes of memory, time, and the significance of personal mementos in preserving the essence of past experiences.


1. What has happened to the old military attire?

ans: The old military attire has undergone various changes. Some of the uniforms have worn off, indicating their deterioration over time. Some have been gnawed by rats, suggesting neglect or abandonment. Others have been distributed among relatives and friends, implying a dispersal of the military belongings.

2. What are the two cherished souvenirs?

ans: The two cherished souvenirs mentioned in the poem are an old-modelled, large, round pocket watch hanging from the neck and an ancient hat worn on the head.

3. Is the poet sympathetic towards the clock tower? What words in the text express the poet`s sympathy?

ans: The poet does express sympathy towards the clock tower in the poem. The line “Broods” is indicative of the poet’s sympathetic tone towards the clock tower. By using the word “broods,” the poet suggests a sense of melancholy or sadness associated with the clock tower.


1. Describe the setting of the poem. What light does the setting throw upon the character of the “senior vet”?

ans: The setting of the poem is primarily focused on two elements: the Ranipokhari, a pond, and the Ghantaghar, a clock tower. The mention of Ranipokhari suggests a tranquil and reflective atmosphere, as it is a place where one might go to cast bait or spend contemplative moments. The clock tower, Ghantaghar, stands by the bank of the pond, symbolizing the passage of time and the permanence of its presence in the midst of changing circumstances.

The setting illuminates the character of the “senior vet” as someone who clings to the remnants of their military life. The description of the hat and the pocket watch indicates a longing for the past and a desire to hold on to the memories associated with their military service. The setting underscores the character’s sense of nostalgia, perhaps feeling like a pensioned veteran who spends long, sad days in old age, finding solace and companionship in the enduring clock tower.

2. How does the single word of the last line affect the mood of the poem?

ans: The last line of the poem, “Broods,” carries a significant impact on the mood of the poem. The word “broods” suggests a sense of melancholy, introspection, and contemplation. It evokes a feeling of heaviness and somberness, as if the clock tower itself is burdened with thoughts, memories, or a sense of resignation. The word implies a state of deep reflection and lingering sadness, contributing to the overall mood of nostalgia and reflection that permeates the poem. It adds a touch of introspective melancholy, leaving the reader with a sense of lingering emotions and a contemplative atmosphere.


1. Description of the clock tower and characteristics of the “Senior vet” seem to merge into the fabric of the poem. How successful is the poet in providing a realistic image?

ans: The poet successfully merges the description of the clock tower and the characteristics of the “Senior vet” to create a vivid and realistic image in the poem. Through the use of precise language and imagery, the poet paints a clear picture of the clock tower, presenting it as a prominent and enduring landmark in the setting. The mention of Ranipokhari, the bank, and the image of the clock tower standing tall all contribute to the realistic portrayal of the physical environment.

Additionally, the comparison of the senior vet to the clock tower adds depth to the poem. By likening the hat-wearing individual to a pensioned senior vet, the poet suggests a sense of aging, weariness, and the passage of time. This characterization aligns with the aging clock tower and its role in marking the passage of time. The poet’s skillful merging of the clock tower and the senior vet’s characteristics allows for a seamless blending of imagery and theme, creating a realistic and cohesive image that enhances the overall impact of the poem.

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