Notes Poem 4 Childhood

Class 11 commerce students can refer to Poem 4 Childhood notes given below which is an important Poem in the class 11 English book. These notes and important questions and answers have been prepared based on the latest CBSE and NCERT syllabus and books issued for the current academic year. Our team of English teachers has prepared these notes for class 11 English for the benefit of students so that you can read these revision notes and understand each topic carefully.

Childhood Notes Class 11 English

Refer to the notes and important questions given below for Childhood which is really useful and has been recommended by Class 11 English teachers. Understanding the concepts in detail and then solving questions by yourself will help you to learn all topics given in your NCERT Books.


This is a poem written in nostalgia (deep longing) about the loss of innocence of childhood days. The poet is in a quest to explore the point where he ceased being a child. He goes back into the alleys of memory and exposes the hypocrisy of the adults.


The poet feels sad at the fact that he has lost the innocence of childhood. So he wonders when he stopped being a child.

He realized that the concept of hell and heaven had no place in geography. He has come to look at the world with a rational point of view. He wonders that perhaps he
lost his childhood when he gained rationality.

The poet further tries to recall the time when he realized that the adults are hypocrites.
They teach their children to be loving and caring while they are argumentative and violent themselves.

The poet realized that he is an individual with a unique personality. He could form his own opinions and take his own decisions.

He tries to recall the time when he learned to shape his own thoughts without getting influenced by others. Perhaps this was the time when he lost his childhood.

In the last stanza, the question changes from “when…” to “where did my childhood go?”

He realizes that childhood is actually hidden in the face of an infant, a time where it is impossible for him to go back now.


1. REFRAIN: “when did my childhood go?…was that the day!”-The refrain of any poem is/are the line(s) that are repeated after regular intervals to highlight the central idea.
2. REPETITION: “They talked of love and preached of love”- when a word is repeated with the same intended meaning.


(i) 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!

Question. What do you know about the poet’s age?
Ans. The poet is about twelve because he is saying “I ceased to be eleven”.

Question. What has the poet lost?
Ans. The poet has lost his childhood.

Question. Name the poem and the poet.
Ans. Poem-Childhood; Poet- Markus Natten

Question. What change has the poet observed in him?
Ans. The poet has come to understand the world in a more rational way. He has adopted scientific thinking now.

Question. Which word in the extract can be replaced with “stopped”?
Ans. Ceased

Question. What has the poet come to realize?
Ans. The poet has come to realize that Hell and Heaven are merely concepts related to faith and religion but they do not exist in real world.

(ii) 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!

Question. Where are the lines from? Who is the poet?
Ans. The poem is called Childhood by Markus Natten.

Question. Find a word from the extract which means “teach”.
Ans. Preach

Question. What has the poet realized about the adults?
Ans. The poet has realized that the adults preach of love and care but actually they are hypocrites. Their actions are motivated by hatred and jealousy.

Question. When did the poet lose his childhood?
Ans. The poet lost his childhood when he realized that adults have double standards.

Question. What change has the poet observed in him?
Ans. The poet has gained maturity and new understanding of the world. He has learnt to analyze the actions of others.

(iii) 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!

Question. Explain the phrase “to use whichever way I choose”.
Ans. The poet has become aware of his right to take decisions for himself.

Question. What does the poet want to know?
Ans. The poet wants to know when he lost his childhood.

Question. What has the poet decided?
Ans. The poet has decided that he would stop getting influenced by other people and would use his mind whichever way he chooses to.

Question. Explain “my mind was really mine”.
Ans. The poet has realized that he was an individual with a unique set of thoughts. He is the master of his mind and could do whatever he wanted.

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

Question. What is “it” in the second line?
Ans. “it” refers to the poet’s childhood.

Question. What has the poet gained after entering adolescence?
Ans. The poet has gained maturity and better understanding of the world. 
He has become rational.

Question. Where has “it” gone to?
Ans. The poet’s childhood has got lost to some forgotten place.

Question. Where is that forgotten place hidden?
Ans. That forgotten place is hidden in an infant’s face.

Question. What does the poet long for?
Ans. The poet longs to go back in time to the period of infancy to find his innocence.

Question. Whom does “my” refer to?
Ans. “my” refers to the poet Markus Natten.

Question. Can the poet go back to infancy?
Ans. No, the poet cannot go back to infancy because he has entered adolescence.

Question. Explain the phrase “hidden in an infant’s face”.
Ans. The poet has lost his childhood. He has understood that infancy is the time where innocent joys of childhood can be found.

Notes Poem 4 Childhood

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