Hornbill Childhood - Revision Notes

 CBSE Class 11 English Core

Revision Notes
Hornbill CHAPTER – 10

The speaker pondered deeply upon the spiritual questions of life and ultimately realized the fact that his childhood days had finally gone for good and would never return. Childhood would now only remain in his memories. He wondered if the end of childhood was the day he ceased to be eleven years old and became independent mentally as well as physically as independence is the first step towards adulthood.

The time when he realized that Heaven and earth could not be found in Geography and never could be. Where did his childhood go? Was it the time he realized that adults were not all they seemed to be? They talked of love and they preached of love, but did not act so lovingly nor practiced what they preached. Was that the day.

Where did his childhood go? Was it when he found out that his mind was really his? To use it whichever way he chose? To produce thoughts that was not those of other people but his and his alone. Was that the day? Where did his childhood go? It went to some forgotten place that is hidden in a baby’s face. That was all that he knew and that was all that he remembered.

The poet feels that heaven and hell are not real places because they cannot be located in geography. In the poem 'Childhood', the poet is trying to realize the time when he lost his childhood, when he became mature enough to understand the worldly things. So he keeps saying, "when did my childhood go?" He finally realizes that his his childhood is gone to "some forgotten place", "that is hidden in an infant's face.

"Wordsworth in his poem, My Heart Leaps Up, said, "Child is the father of  man". Markus Natten in his poem 'Childhood' has tried to explain the same thought. It is child who is noble and pure in her/his thoughts and heart. A child appreciates the nature's beauty and innocence in the world. A child is  one who teaches a human being to selflessly appreciate simple love and natural wonders.

The poet feels nostalgic about his childhood.Childhood means innocence and loss of it means loss of innocence.The poet suffers from a sense of loss and speculates when he suffered that loss.He ponders over the difference between innocence and hypocrisy and comes to the conclusion that perhaps when he learned to see through the crafty and hypocratic nature of adults he lost his childhood.He repeats the same question throughout the poem-'When did my childhood go?' but in the last para his question changes and he wants to know the place where did his childhood go' and finds the answer that it is hidden in an infant's face.