Childhood Class 11 English Poem 4 Summary, Literary Devices, Explanation with Video, Question Answer

By Vaishnavi Tyagi

CBSE Class 11 English Hornbill Book Poem 4 Childhood Summary, Literary Devices, Explanation with Video and Question Answers

Childhood CBSE – CBSE Class 11 English Hornbill Book Poem 4 Childhood Summary and Detailed explanation of the Poem along with meanings of difficult words.
Also, the explanation is followed by a Summary of the poem and literary devices used. All the exercises and Questions and Answers given at the back of the lesson have been covered. Also, Take Free Online MCQs Test for Class 11

 

Class 11 English (Hornbill Book) Poem 4 Childhood

By Markus Natten

childhood

Childhood Introduction Childhood Video Explanation
Childhood Summary Childhood Lesson Explanation
Childhood Question Answers Childhood Literary Devices

 

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Childhood Introduction

Childhood is written by Marcus Natten. In this poem, the poet thinks over his lost childhood. He wonders about the moment where he lost his innocence and realized that the world is not what he seemed it to be. He recalls when his thoughts changed and he realized the hypocrisy of the people around him. He finally settled down to the idea that his childhood went to some forgotten place and is hidden in the face of an innocent infant.

 

Important Videos Links

 

Childhood Class 11 Video Explanation

 

Childhood Summary

In the poem, the poet wonders when he lost his childhood and the innocence he had. He became conscious that he no longer sees the world as he did earlier and he can sense the hypocrisy in people.
He recalled many instances in his life when he could have lost his childhood. He wondered if it was the day he ceased to be eleven or he realized that Hell and Heaven didn’t exist in this world and no one could find them in the geography.

Next, he talks about the possibility when he realized that adults are not what they seemed to be and they are hypocrites. They talk and preach of love but their actions don’t say so.
Was it the day when he realized that his mind was his own and capable of producing his own thoughts? No one could own that and he is an individual with his particular personality.

In the last stanza, he talks about the whereabouts of his childhood. He concludes that it had gone to some forgotten place and it can only be found in the innocent face of an infant.

 

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Childhood Poem and Explanation

When did my childhood go?
Was it the day I ceased to be eleven,
Was it the time I realised that Hell and Heaven,
Could not be found in Geography,
And therefore could not be,
Was that the day!

 

Ceased – come to an end

 

In the above lines, the poet wonders about when his childhood came to an end. He asked himself was it the day he was no longer eleven years old? Was it the day when he realized that Hell and Heaven existed and yet could not be found in geography or on the map. He realized they are imaginary places that actually do not exist in this world.

 

 

When did my childhood go?
Was it the time I realised that adults were not
all they seemed to be,
They talked of love and preached of love,
But did not act so lovingly,
Was that the day!

 

See: Father to Son Class 11 English Poem Explanation, Summary

 

Preached – talked or spoken

 

In the above stanza, the poet again repeats the same question about when did his childhood go? He wonders about the day when he started seeing the world with a new perception that adults are hypocrites and are not how they seemed to be. The adults who talked of love and preached of love and yet never behaved so lovingly. They are double-faced in reality. Was that the day when his childhood go?

 

When did my childhood go?
Was it when I found my mind was really mine,
To use whichever way I choose,
Producing thoughts that were not those of other people
But my own, and mine alone
Was that the day!

 

See: Father to Son Class 11 English Poem Explanation, Summary

 

In the third stanza, the poet deliberates on the same question about when he lost his childhood. He asked himself about possibilities. He wonders about the day he realized that his mind was his own and could use it the way he wants. When he realized that he could produce his own thoughts which were not bound by anyone. When he sensed his own individuality and a separate personality. Was that the day he lost his childhood?

 

Where did my childhood go?
It went to some forgotten place,
That’s hidden in an infant’s face,
That’s all I know.

 

Infant – newborn baby

 

In the last stanza, the poet remorses about his lost childhood. He concludes that his childhood had gone to some forgotten place which will never come back. He cherished his innocence which vanished now and could be only seen in a baby’s face. He only has sweet memories of his childhood which would soon fade away. He also conveyed a message that the innocence of childhood stays till the time one is an infant and that is all he knows.

 

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Childhood Literary Devices

Rationalism – the poet rationalizes the lost childhood when he was eleven and when he found out that hell and heaven don’t exist and are not found in geography.

Was it the day I ceased to be eleven,
Was it the time I realized that Hell and Heaven,
Could not be found in Geography,

Rhyme Scheme – the rhyme scheme used in the poem ‘Childhood’ is ABBCCD.
Refrain – a group of phrase which is repeated in the poem

When did my childhood go?
Was that the day!

Individuality – In stanza 3, the poet realized that he can use his own mind and can produce his own thoughts. He discovered a sense of individuality in himself.
Antithesis – where two opposite words are used together in a sentence in a poem

Hell and Heaven

Alliteration – The occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of closely connected words

The time
My mind
Whichever way
Thoughts that

Inversion – when the subject-verb order is reversed

To use whichever way I choose

 

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Childhood Question Answers

Think it out
1. Identify the stanza that talks of each of the following.
Individuality, Rationalism, Hypocrisy

Childhood Class 11 Question and Answers

Think it out
1. Identify the stanza that talks of each of the following.

Individuality, Rationalism, Hypocrisy

 

Ans:

Individuality – Third stanza
When did my childhood go?
Was it when I found my mind was really mine,
To use whichever way I choose,
Producing thoughts that were not those of other people
But my own, and mine alone
Was that the day!
Rationalism – First stanza
When did my childhood go?
Was it the day I ceased to be eleven,
Was it the time I realised that Hell and Heaven,
Could not be found in Geography,
And therefore could not be,
Was that the day!
Hypocrisy – Second stanza
When did my childhood go?
Was it the time I realised that adults were not
all they seemed to be,
They talked of love and preached of love,
But did not act so lovingly,
Was that the day!

 

Also See: CBSE Class 11 English Lessons – summary and explanation

2. What according to the poem is involved in the process of growing up?
Ans: According to the poem, the process of growing up involves attaining maturity and becoming a rational and logical thinker. When the poet became an adult, he was able to see the hypocrisy in other people. He could distinguish in the behaviour of double-standard preach and talk of love. A grown-up can tell a difference between reality and fantasy. A mature person stresses on his thoughts and is capable of having his own opinion.

3. What is the poet’s feeling towards childhood?
Ans: The poet is disappointed and puzzled by the loss of his childhood. He wanted to know when was the moment he became a grown-up and loss the innocence of an infant. He expresses his confusion by asking that when and where did his childhood go.

4. Which do you think are the most poetic lines? Why?
Ans: The lines in the last stanza are the most poetic lines in the poem.
It went to some forgotten place,
That’s hidden in an infant’s face,
That’s all I know.
The poet beautifully describes the disappearance of his childhood. He talks about how one can find innocence in an infant’s face. It is a process of life that an individual grows up and slowly starts understanding the concept of the world and people around them. During childhood, a person believes in things that aren’t true or has a different set of reality. When the child grows up and is able to process his own thoughts, he realizes that many things don’t exist the way he thought them to be.

 

Class 11 Important Links

Class 11th English Hornbill and Snapshots Lessons Explanation, Question Answers Class 11 English Hornbill Book Poems
Class 11 English Snapshots Book Lessons Explanation Class 1 1th English Hornbill and Snapshots Book MCQs
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