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NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Poem Chapter 4:Childhood

iacst-2022

The poem can be considered as an introspection of the poet Markus Natten's feelings and thoughts. The poet bitterly looks back upon his old memories to recall the exact moment his innocence had left him. He recalls several incidents that might have been the exact time it happened.

The poem is composed of 4 stanzas, and each stanza begins with the poet questioning his childhood. The first three stanzas pose the question "When", and the last stanza poses the question "Where". The poem deals with themes of individuality, rationalism and hypocrisy.

The poet asks when did his childhood come to an end. He ponders if it was the day he ceased to be eleven years old because, in the perspective of psychology, a child enters the phase of adolescence when they are twelve years of age. At his young age, the poet had faith and believed in the existence of Heaven and Hell, but his faith was fractured when he studied Geography. He discovered that Heaven and Hell do not exist in the subject, nor can they be found on any map. Growing up. The poet discovered adults' nature to be different from what he had perceived as an innocent child. He realised that adults talked about peace and love, but they did not act accordingly. When he was innocent, his thoughts would reflect that of others, and he did not think of his own to be his own.

Thus, the poet questions if it was the day that he came to realise his mind is his own and discovered his individuality and individual perspective and thoughts. Not being able to conclude, he wonders where did his childhood innocence go? At last, he resigns to the thought that his childhood is hidden in a forgotten place, far away from his reach, and it can only be found on an infant's face.

 

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