Here you get the poem Childhood Question Answers of English class 11 AHSEC Assam Board and previous years' papers' solutions and important question answers along with a summary of the poem written by Markus Natten.



This poem reflects on the loss of childhood innocence and the realization that comes with growing up. The speaker questions when exactly their childhood ended and identifies a few key moments that may have marked its departure.

The first stanza suggests that the speaker's childhood may have ended when they realized that concepts like Heaven and Hell couldn't be physically located on a map. This realization indicates a shift in their understanding of the world and the loss of their previous innocent beliefs.

In the second stanza, the speaker considers whether their childhood ended when they realized that adults, despite speaking about love and preaching its virtues, didn't always behave in a loving manner. This realization shattered the speaker's idealistic view of adults and possibly contributed to their loss of childhood.

The third stanza suggests that the speaker's childhood may have ended when they discovered the power of their own thoughts and ideas, independent of others. This newfound sense of individuality and autonomy marks a significant milestone in the process of growing up.

The poem concludes with a sense of nostalgia and longing for the lost innocence of childhood. The speaker suggests that their childhood has been stored away in a forgotten place, perhaps symbolized by the innocence reflected in an infant's face.

Textual Question Answers

Think it out

1. Identify the stanza that talks of each of the following.
Individuality   Rationalism   Hypocrisy
Ans: Individuality:
Stanza 3 talks of individuality "Was it when I found my mind was really mine."
Rationalism: Stanza 1 talks of rationalism "Was it the time I realised that Hell and Heaven, Could not be found in Geography,"
Hypocrisy: Stanza 2 talks of hypocrisy "Was it the time I realised that adults were not all they seemed to be,...."

2. What according to the poem is involved in the process of growing up? (2017)
According to the poem, the process of growing up involves:

  • Realizing that certain things we believed in as children, like Heaven and Hell, cannot be found in specific places.
  • Understanding that adults may not always act in the loving way they talk about.
  • Discovering our own individuality and the power to think independently.
  • Reflecting on the loss of childhood innocence and the longing for those carefree days.

3. What is the poet’s feeling towards childhood? (2018)
The poet feels that childhood is a very happy period of everyone's life. Childhood is true, pure, and innocent - free from all the complexities and evils of this material world. A child believes in God, heaven, love, etc., and feels that whatever is spoken is true. He is not aware of the hypocrisy and evils of the world of adults who speak sweetly about love but act in a completely opposite way in actual life. A child is unable to think of his presence as different from others, he is never selfish and hostile to anyone. In other words, childhood is a time full of positive sides - true, innocent, and pure.

4. Which do you think are the most poetic lines? Why?
The most poetic lines in the poem are subjective and may vary depending on interpretation. However, a possible choice for poetic lines could be:
"Where did my childhood go?
It went to some forgotten place,
That’s hidden in an infant’s face,
That’s all I know"
These lines evoke a sense of wistfulness and capture the essence of the poem's theme. The imagery of childhood being stored away in a forgotten place, hidden in an infant's face, carries a certain beauty and melancholy, making them stand out poetically.

Previous years Notes

1. When did my childhood go?
Was it the day I ceased to be eleven.
Was it the time 1 realised that Hell and Heaven,
Could not be found in Geography,
And therefore could not be,
Was that the day!   (2015)

(i) What is the poet asking for?
Ans: The poet is asking for the time when his childhood has gone as he is unable to trace his childhood.

(ii) What does 'Hell and Heaven' stand for? 
Ans: 'Hell and Heaven' symbolize spiritual or moral concepts rather than physical places. The speaker realizes that these concepts cannot be located on a map, suggesting they may not be as straightforward as initially believed.

(iii) What phase of life does the stanza reveal? 
Ans: In this stanza, the speaker is talking about a time in their life when they begin to question and understand things differently. They are no longer as innocent and naive as they were in their childhood. They start to realize that some things they believed in, like Heaven and Hell, are not physical places that can be found on a map.

(iv) How does the poet describe the process of being grown up? 
Ans: The poet describes the process of growing up as a series of realizations and shifts in understanding. It involves recognizing that adults may not always live up to the ideals they promote, and the realization that one's thoughts and opinions are unique and independent. It is a time of personal growth and individuality.

2. In the poem 'Childhood', the poet asks two questions — one is about the time and the other about the place. Why does he ask these questions? (2015)
Ans: The poet asks these two questions about time and place in order to reflect on the passing of childhood and the process of growing up. By questioning when childhood ended and where it went, the poet explores the moments and realizations that mark the transition from innocence to maturity. These questions prompt the poet and the readers to ponder the changes and experiences that shape our understanding of the world as we grow older.

3. What, according to the poem, Childhood, is involved in the process of growing up? (2017)
Ans: See Above Qno. 2(Textual Question Answers)

4. What is the poet's feeling towards childhood in the poem "Childhood"? (2018)
Ans: See Above Qno. 3(Textual Question Answers)

5. What does the speaker of the poem Childhood' speak about adults? (2020 22)
Ans: The speaker of the poem reflects on their realization about adults. They talk about how adults often talk about love and preach about it, but they don't always behave lovingly. The speaker suggests that adults may not always live up to the ideals they promote. It implies that the speaker has observed inconsistencies between the words and actions of adults, leading to a deeper understanding that adults are not always as they initially seemed to be.

6. 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!  (2021)

(i) Where do these lines occur? 
Ans: These lines occur in the poem "Childhood."

(ii) When does the poet think that he lost his childhood? 
Ans: The poet thinks they lost their childhood at the time when they realized that adults were not as they seemed to be, specifically when they noticed a disconnect between the adults' words and their actions.

(iii) What do the adults talk of? 
Ans: The adults talk about love and preach about it.

(iv) Do the adults act lovingly?  
Ans: No, the adults do not act lovingly despite talking and preaching about love.

(v) What does the speaker think about the adults? 
Ans: The speaker expresses a sense of disappointment with the adults They had hoped that the adults would show the love they talked about and preached, but their actions didn't reflect their words. This made the speaker realize that the adults weren't as sincere or caring as they had believed or hoped them to be. It's a realization that the adults didn't live up to the expectations of being genuinely loving and kind.

7. Why does the poet say that his childhood "went to some forgotten place"? (2021, 22)
Ans: The poet says that their childhood "went to some forgotten place" because they feel that the innocence and joy of their childhood have vanished and become lost over time. It signifies that the experiences and emotions of childhood are no longer accessible or easily remembered. The poet uses this metaphorical language to express a sense of nostalgia and longing for the carefree and innocent moments of their past, which now seem distant and inaccessible.

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