The poem childhood shows the reality of how children look at adults. Children are portrayed with their lack of experience on the real world and how little they know about the world they have yet to experience but then they realize how little they know about the world and have an epiphany that becoming an adult is part of life as well as becoming old. The narrator of the poem is an adult which may be reminiscing when he was a child and how he then realized what has been mentioned above. The narrator has a tone of reflection as he is remembering when he was a child as well as having the viewpoint of a child due to this.
The first stanza shows the viewpoint of the child before he has the epiphany and how little experience he has on the world. The narrator uses this first stanza to paint how a child would see an adult. By using words such as “stiff backs” and “wrinkles around their nose” we can easily get the picture of what the narrator is trying to paint for us. His inexperience on the world is reassured when it says “on purpose to be grand”. We can see the variation of the lines which shows that the
writer did this with the sole purpose to show that it was a child which was writing, this then changes after the narrator has its epiphany which reveals a more mature and complex nature of the narrator. This is also seen in the tone which is at first childish and then changes to a more mature and complex one.
The second stanza the narrator has its “epiphany”, realizing how little experience in life it has and how wrong he had been when he had said that adults choose to be with “stiff backs “ so that they could be “grand”. In the third stanza the narrator finally realized that he, a child, is as helpless as the adults are. The lengths of the lines are less variable which is due to the change from child to an adult with a more mature tone. The poem ends with the viewpoint of an adult or a child which has realized the truth of the world and is no longer a child.
The author uses words and phrases to enhance the text as well as to reaffirm some things in the poem. Although figures of speech which appear on the poem are not a lot, they create the effect which the author was looking for. The reader will feel through the words how the childish feel at the start of the poem changed until it takes a more mature adult-like feel. The poem does not have a high level of formality due to the narrator’s nature. The description which is given by the
narrator in the first stanza is enhanced with the simile “veins like small fat snakes on either hands.” which give a clearer and more detailed picture of how a child sees an adult.
The imagery of the poem is greatly seen in the first and third stanza of the poem which gives life to the poem and enhances the effect given by the poem. We first see the imagery of the poem when the narrator makes the picture of the adults which gives the reader a better perspective of on how a child sees an adult. The imagery is further seen when the narrator has its epiphany with the line “Till through the banisters I watched one day” this reveals to the reader that the child look through the bars of a prison and realized the true of the world, which makes it significant as childhood is when the children are inexperienced and do not know about the reality of the world.
The author has given importance to the used of word classes in order to fully give a picture to the reader which is the case in the first stanza where the narrator is describing how adults are. “stiff backs”, “small fat snakes”, “wrinkles round” are words which emphasize how a children will look at an adult. This is how the author creates the essence of the poem, how children think and look at the world with inexperience.
The poem has a AA BB CC ED DE rhyme pattern and also has a kind of rhythm that is repeated twice in it. This combination of rhyme and rhythm gives the poem an almost melodic feel like a song. And even if the author doesn’t use any kind of alliteration he still uses a rhyme of hard vowels to give the poem a catchy nature. But at the end of the poem the author uses some repetition in the end of the lines, like the words “helplessly” which also help him achieve an antithesis in that part of the poem.
In conclusion, childhood is the stage where children are inexperienced and know nothing about the world they live in. The narrator of the poem has a revelation which shows him that adults are as hopeless as he is and cannot choose to be old or not as it is part of life. The narrator of the poem may be reminiscing about when he was a child, s it is shown by the used tone and the words implemented. I this poem portrays the mind of a child and it is what gives the essence to the poem itself.