Introduction to the poem
In this poem, the poet laments over the loss of his childhood. it was a time when he sincerely believed that there is a heaven and a hell, it was a time when he believed that the adults really meant what they said, he believed that people really loved one another when they talked and preached of love. it was a time when he thought himself as one among others, he didn’t think he was in any way different , but now all that innocence is gone, now he thinks that heaven and hell are no real places, now he sees people talking of love and preaching love, but he sees that they don’t act loving , now he is conscious of his own separate identity and feels himself different from others the poet wonders when and where he lost his childhood , he can only say that it has gone to some forgotten place that is hidden in the face of an infant,
- when did my childhood go?
- 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,
- and therefore could not be, ‘
- was that the day.
the poet suddenly realizes that he has lost his childhood , but he doesn’t know when and where he had lost it , he asks if he had lost in the day when he entered his twelfth year, or , it could be the time when he realized that heaven and hell were no real, places they couldn’t be found anywhere on the earth, the poet wonders what day it could be when he lost his childhood,
- when did my childhood go?
- was it the time I realized 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,
the poet doesn’t know when he lost his childhood , it could be the time when he realized that adults were not what they seemed to be, adults talked of, love they preached of love , in his childhood , the poet used to think that the adults were really loving and caring, but now he finds that in their actions , they are not so loving . they seemed loving only in their talking and preaching , but in their actual actions , they were much different , the poet says that he had perhaps lost his childhood when he found this pypocrisy in the actions of grown-up people ,
- 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,
the poet doesn’t know when he lost his childhood, he says that it could perhaps be the time when he felt himself different from others , he realised his mind was really his own mind , in other words, he realised that his mind thoughts differently from others, he had an independent mind which he could use any way he liked . his thoughts were not the thoughts of other people , they were his own personal thoughts a sense of ego had developed in him, he no longer thoughts himself as one among others, he thoughts himself to be a unique person, the poet says that it was perhaps in this ego that 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
the poet doesn’t know where his childhood has gone , he says that it has gone to some forgotten place, it could be hidden in some infant’s face that is the only thing he can say about, it the poet means to say that childhood remains only as long as one is an infant, as one grows in years ,the innocence of childhood, starts disappearing,
- ceased –अंत होना
- realised–समझने लगा
- could not be –वास्तविक सकते थे
- adults–बालिंग व्यस्क
- preached–प्रचार करते थे
- my mind was really mine–मेरा मन सचमुच मेरा था
- forgotten place;-अज्ञात जगह , भूली , बिसरि जगह
- hidden–छिपा हुआ
- infant’s face–शिशु का चहेरा
- could not be found in geography:–भूगोल की पुस्तकों में नहीं ढूंढा जा सकता था
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ;-
Question 1 what ,according to the poem, is involved in the process of growing up?
Answer’ as a person grows up, he becomes a rationalist, an egoist and a hypocrite he accepts nothing that is not logical . he loses faith in God . he does not believe in hell or heaven , he becomes very conscious of his self, he wants to follow his own desires and ideas, he becomes an egoist he becomes hypocritical in his behaviour, he does not always mean what he says, he talks of love and preaches of love, but it not so loving in his actions, in short, he loses all the innocence of his childhood,
Question2 what is the poet’s feelings towards childhood?
Answer” the poet regards childhood as a period of heavenly innocence A. child sincerely feels that there is god above, he is free from all earthly evils he believe that there is really a heaven and a hell . he is truly religious in soul a child knows no hypocrisy . he always means what he says, there is no difference between his thoughts and actions, a child is free from any sense of ego, he does not think himself to be different from or superior to others, in short childhood is a state of heavenly innocence and purity of heart,
Question 3 which , do you think , are the most poetic lines? why
Answer” the last four lines of the poem are the most poetic . here the poet creates a lovely image of an infan’s face he conveys the ideas that the innocence of childhood remains only as long as one is an infant, as one grows in years , the heavenly innocence of childhood begins to disappear,
Question”4 what question does the poet ask again and again in this poem ?
Answer” In this poem the poet is really, confused. he asks the question again and again ‘ when did my childhood go ”
Question”5 The poet has discussed two stages of life-childhood and adulthood. how do we differentiate one from another ?
Answer” Childhood has been considered by the poet as a blissful period in one’s life, where a child trusts everyone. Adulthood is marked by rational and creative thoughts, ability to perceive and differentiate and learn new things. in this stage of life one also learns to be double faced and crafty.
Question”6 what did the poet realise when he crossed the age of eleven years?
Answer” when the poet crossed the age of eleven years. he realised that he had lost his childhood and had developed a mind of his own. he also found out the non-existence of hell and heaven.
Question”7 How did the poet conclude that hell and heaven were imaginary places?
Answer” The poet concluded that hell and heaven were imaginary places because Geography books contain names of places. but there is no mention of places like hell or heaven in these books.
Question”8 How did adults seem to the poet when he was a child?
Answer” As a child, the poet considered all the adults as an epitome of love and sincerity. he believed that their love was true and they were ready to do anything for, their loved ones.
Question”9 Bring out the hypocrisy that the adults exhibit with regard to love.
Answer” As the poet grew up, he could make out the double standards followed by adults. he realised that though adults preached of love and talked of love, their behaviour was totally different and full of manipulation. they were all hypocrites who behaved differently from the way they talked.
Question”10 what did the poet notice about Independent thinking? how important was this discovery?
Answer” The poet discovered that he was different from others and could think independently. he could have his own opinions without getting influenced by anyone else. this discovery was very important to him as it revealed to him his abilities for independent thinking and decision taking.
Childhood class 11 MCQ’s Question and Answer
Question”1 why do adults talk and preach of love but do not act lovingly?
- because they are hypocrites
- because they are double-faced
- because they do not want to
- because they invest in only those whom they find interesting
Question”2 Antithesis is where two opposite words are used together in a sentence in a poem, where did the poet use it ?
- Infant’s face
- Forgotten place
- Hell and heaven
- Preached of love
Question”3 what did the poet sense about himself when he realised he could use his own mind the way he wants ?
- he sensed that he is as intelligent as his friends
- he sensed his own individuality and a separate personality.
- he sensed that he is very smart
- he sensed that he could use his mind in creative work
Question”4 what is the opposite of the word’ hidden?
Question”5 who is the poet of the poem’ Childhood?
- shirley Toulson
- wait whitman
- Marcus Natten
Question”6 where could he see his childhood now ?
- In an infant’s face
- only in his memories
- In other kids
Question”7 what did the poet realise about his mind when he lost his childhood?
- that he can use it whatever way he wants
- that he is very intelligent
- that he is dumb
- None of the above
Question”8 what did the poet realise about adults ?
- that they are mature
- they have to earn money
- they are not what they seem to be
- they are cunning
Question”9 what the poet could not find in the Geography book?
- Hell and heaven
- end to sky
Question”10 what is the poem Childhood’ about ?
- poet’s lost childhood
- childhood of every person
- childhood of poet’s child
- poet’s father childhood