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
   all they seemed to be
b) Alliteration – “ That
they, “the time”
                        STANZA – (Three )
1) Alliteration – 1) “My
                        ii) “Whichever way”
2) Inversion – “To use
whichever way? I Choose”.
                        STANZA – (Four)
1) Anaphora – “That ‘s . .
. . . .

        Think it out
            1. Indentify the stanza that talks
of each of the following.
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
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
            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.