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Abstract

The ills of the present compel man to look back at the past with nostalgia. Warmth, sincerity and frankness filled the heart and expressed themselves in the several acts of man. There was no loss of trust between man and man. The present, on the other hand, is characterized by mistrust, lack of warmth and selfishness on the part of man. This makes us yearn for the past.The new cultures and civilizations have colluded to unmake man and reduce him into an animal, more or less. The colonization of Nigeria by the British has had lasting consequences on the culture and civilization of Nigeria. The Nigerians tend to forget their tradition and trend the path of the new Western Civilization.. Love was replaced by hate, trust by mistrust, and warmth by its opposite. Man has become selfish and it has spelt doom in human relationship. This forms the background of the poem – “Once Upon A Time.” The poem is in the form of a dramatic monologue, the patient listener being the son of the poet. The presentation is a modest attempt at showing how ills of the present serve as a foil to the goodness of the past.

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