Tuesday, 18 February 2014



            The poem childhood unfolds the personal feeling of the poet and about his lost childhood. He is in the quest to ascertain when he lost his childhood. He demarked his losing of childhood when he was eleven. He shows here transformation of innocence turning in to experience, childhood into hypocrisy, individuality and rational mind. We find the poet here to pine for his childhood where he had been free from all ill effects and malice mind of the adulthood.



The poem begins with the refrains “where did my childhood go?” He assumes that it was probably when he crossed eleven. He does on deducing that he might have lost his childhood when he became conscious of the fact that well and heaven could not be found in Geography.


In the refrain, the poet goes on to figure out the exact time of losing his childhood. He conjectured that it might be when adults appeared to him to be hypocrite. They advise and suggest others to be true in love and act lovingly, but they themselves did not act in the same way.


The third stanza highlights his individually. He is now fully aware of his ability. He has got to understand that he is the master of his own thoughts. He could use his thoughts whatever the way he wanted. He does not imitate other’s thoughts for he now knows that his thought is purely his.


The poet searches for his childhood fervently. He thinks that it got hidden in an infant’s face. He realizes that with the process of entering into the adolescence he lost his childhood which can be found faintly in a child’s face. He establishes here that with the advancement of age we lose the serene qualities like innocence, Honesty, truthfulness etc. Only a replica can be found in an infant’s face.


1) Rhyme schemeThe poem is divided into four different stanzas. The poem does not bear any particular rhyme scheme. Thought it can be detailed in the following way

Stanza – 1 ABBCCD   
Stanza – 2 – ABCDEF
Stanza – 3 – ABCDEF
Stanza – 4 – ABBA

2) Refrain – Refrain is a phrase, verse, or group of verses repeated at intervals throughout a song or poem and deals with the main theme of the poem or song. In ‘childhood’ we see the presence of a refrain i.e. –

            “Where did my childhood go? ---
-          - - - - - - - - - - - - -
-          Was that the day?”

Indeed, the refrain reflects the main theme of the poem. It shows the poet’s quest for his lost childhood and his speculations about it.

Poetic Device in use

    STANZA – 1( one)

 1. Antithesis- a) Hell and Heaven  

               b)Alliteration- :the time:

   STANZA – 2 (Two)

a) Enjambment – “ . . . . . . . . that were not
   all they seemed to be

b) Alliteration – “ That they, “the time”

                        STANZA – (Three )

1) Alliteration – 1) “My mind”
                        ii) “Whichever way”

2) Inversion – “To use whichever way? I Choose”.

                        STANZA – (Four)

1) Anaphora – “That ‘s . . . . . .


A.         Think it out

            1. Indentify the stanza that talks of each of the following.

                        Individually rationalism hypocrisy

Ans:     The third stanza reflects ‘Individuality”.

            The first stanza shows “rationalism’.

            The second stanza shows ‘hypocrisy’

2) What according to the poem, is involved in the process of growing up?

Ans:     With the inevitable process of growing up, one cannot avoid loss of the tenets of childhood. Childhood is replaced by the characteristics of adolescence which comes both in positive and negative. One accumulates rationalism, knowledge, self confidence but at the same time he steps into the arena of falsehood and hypocrisy.

3.         What are t he poet’s feelings towards childhood?

Ans:     To the poet childhood is a casa of fancy what a child sees, believes and listens , often turns out to be futile and make-believe. This stage lacks self confidence, rationalism and individuality. The poet portrays the time of childhood as  epoch of innocence which in the adolescence turns out to be experience.

4.         Which do you think are the most poetic lines? Why?

Ans:     Indubitably the last stanza authenticates to be the most poetic lines.

            These lines air out the poem in a nutshell. These lines talk about how the poet became conscious about his loss of childhood. At the same time, he understands that childhood is gone and only a replica can be found in an infant’s face. His , this realization of losing childhood itself says his crawling in the adolescence.