Childhood by Markus Natten is an adult’s lamentation over his loss of his childish innocence. The poet feels disappointed because he thinks being a child was better than being an adult. A child’s life is peaceful and really sweet while an adult’s character is very complicated.

Child

  • Carefree
  • Always cool, happy, less worried.
  • Free to do anything; less restricted

Adult

  • Complex and frustrated
  • Mostly a fake personality, show off, copying.
  • Full of anxieties
  • Worries
  • Dejection
  • Fear of war, death, loss

All that the poet wants is his lost childhood though he well knows that he cannot get it back! He can find his childhood on the face of children who have not yet lost their childhood.

The First Question

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!

Hindi – Kab gaya mera bachpan? Kya vo tab hua jab main 11 saal kaa thaa? Kya vah tab hua jab mujje pata chalaa ki swarg aur narak sirf kahani the?

Meaning

  • Ceased – Stopped; ended
  • Hell and Heaven – Imaginary or real places where souls go after death
  • Geography – Study of the earth and other planets

Questions

  1. What is the age of the poet?
    The poet is an adult.
  2. What is the poet’s mood?
    The poet is sad and helpless. He is lamenting/sad that he has been stripped off of his childhood’s innocence.
  3. Why does the poet suspect science in connection with his losing his childhood?
    The poet blames science for his losing his childhood. As a child he had strong belief in God and Heaven, all that he had learnt in his catechism/moral training classes but when he attended school, teachers told him that Heaven was not found in Geography so he concluded that Heaven and God were just lies.
  4. What did the poet realize when he was twelve years?
    At the age of twelve, the poet learnt that Hell and Heaven were not real but mere stories and that science didn’t support the existence of Hell and heaven.

Next – The Second Question

Biju John is an educational writer, educator and the author of OM - The Otherwise Men. He gives live classes on Skype and Facebook. You can attend his 3 Day Classes (English & Business Studies) in Delhi, Bangalore, Qatar and Dubai. His Contact number is 91 9810740061.

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