Class XII CBSE| NCERT English Solution| Summary| Central Idea| Quiz|Q&A
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Today, I will dive in deep to explain the Poem ‘ keeping Quiet by Pablo Neruda. I ensure you will get a complete idea to write the summary, central idea, and explanation of the poem orderly. You will be able to write the specification and figure of speech used in this poem too. After reading this page you will find the secret to score outstanding marks in the board examination.
Let’s get started.
- About the Poet,
- Short introduction of the Poem
- Stanza-wise explanation along with reference and context
- Keywords and Quick Point after each Stanza
- Quiz: to check the level of understanding
- The central idea of The Poem
- Videos just like a live class
- Relevant Quotations and statements
- Specification (Themes and Figures of speech etc.)
About the Poet Pablo Neruda
Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto was born on 12 July 1904. He is better known by his pen name and, later, legal name Pablo Neruda. He is known as a Chilean poet-diplomat and politician.
Neruda became known as a poet when he was just 13 years old, and wrote in a variety of styles, including surrealist poems, historical epics, overtly political manifestos, a prose autobiography, and passionate love poems such as the ones in his collection Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924).
In 1971 he was honoured with the Nobel Prize for Literature. He wrote in green ink which was his personal symbol for desire and hope. His writings are simple, wherein lies their beauty. Originally written in Spanish, the essence of this poem is based on introspection and retrospection. The poet feels that some soul–searching is needed for us to be at peace with ourselves and others.
Introduction of the Poem: Keeping Quiet
During the 1950s, a time when the world had suffered a dead war. The poet too has experienced the repercussions of war and his appeal for peace shows that he is fed up seeing humans killing each other for power and money in this poem Pablo Neruda discusses the need of maintaining peace and silence.
He stresses being quiet and harmless to human beings, animals, and the environment. He suggests that in order to maintain peace and harmony, it is required to stop and introspect ourselves. He says that keeping quiet will be a rebirth for the human soul. It will give a new meaning to our life.
Keeping Quiet: Summary
It is a poem written by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. In this poem, the poet asks humanity to count numbers from one to twelve. He implores them not to speak any language because languages create barriers between people and for some time they should involve themselves in any movement.
The moment when everyone stops moving their body will be very special and different as we have never experienced such a moment before.
The poet says that In this moment of silence, one can experience the strength of togetherness, a sudden strange relationship to which humanity binds itself and in this period of inactivity the fishermen would not harm the whales, the salt gatherers will not hurt their hands, those who are all the time engaged in the exploitation of nature will adopt a new approach towards life, the men who are preparing for wars and victory based on deaths of innocent people will join their enemy and stand in unity with them, doing nothing.
No one will harm himself or any other person. Everyone will unite and ponder upon his acts and realize the results of his deeds. The poet clarifies his idea and says further that he does not want people to stand idle. He wants there should be peace everywhere, not war because he does not want to see trucks laden with dead bodies of soldiers and innocent people.
The poet is promoting Universal brotherhood and peace. The poet says that everyone is working continuously, to achieve one’s goals. People are threatened by death and fear forces them to work endlessly so that they can achieve everything quickly. He wants us to be happy about our achievements and celebrate them.
Life certainly is an ongoing dynamic process and should not be associated with death. In this hour of introspection and silence, we will find time to understand ourselves better and escape from the threatening cause of death. He wants us to overcome the fear of death and to relax for a while. The poet says when the people will remain quiet for a while, they will realize the purpose of their lives.
Just like all the creations of nature undergo a rebirth with the change of seasons, in the same way, keeping quiet will be a rebirth for the human soul. It will give a new meaning to our life. Again, the poet says to all humans that he will count till twelve and asks everyone to remain quiet while he leaves.
Keeping Quiet: Hindi Summary
इस कविता में कवि मानवता से एक से बारह तक की संख्या गिनने को कहता है। वह उनसे किसी भी भाषा को न बोलने का आग्रह करता है क्योंकि भाषाएं लोगों के बीच अवरोध पैदा करती हैं और कुछ समय के लिए उन्हें किसी भी आंदोलन में खुद को शामिल करना चाहिए।
जिस क्षण हर कोई अपने शरीर को हिलाना बंद कर देता है वह बहुत ही खास और अलग होगा जैसा कि हमने पहले कभी ऐसे क्षण का अनुभव नहीं किया है। कवि कहता है कि मौन के इस क्षण में, एक साथ एकता की ताकत का अनुभव हो सकता है, एक अचानक अजीब रिश्ता जिससे मानवता खुद को बांधती है और निष्क्रियता की इस अवधि में मछुआरे व्हेल को नुकसान नहीं पहुंचाएंगे, नमक इकट्ठा करने वाले अपने हाथों को चोट नहीं पहुंचाएंगे, जो हर समय प्रकृति के शोषण में लगे रहते हैं वे जीवन के प्रति एक नया दृष्टिकोण अपनाएंगे, जो लोग युद्ध की तैयारी कर रहे हैं और निर्दोष लोगों की मौत पर जीत हासिल कर रहे हैं, वे अपने दुश्मन में शामिल हो जाएंगे और उनके साथ एकता में खड़े होंगे, कुछ भी नहीं करेंगे।
कोई भी खुद को या किसी अन्य व्यक्ति को नुकसान नहीं पहुंचाएगा। हर कोई एकजुट होगा और उसके कार्यों पर विचार करेगा और उसके कर्मों के परिणामों को महसूस करेगा। कवि अपने विचार को स्पष्ट करता है और आगे कहता है कि वह नहीं चाहता कि लोग बेकार खड़े रहें। वह चाहता है कि हर जगह शांति हो, युद्ध नहीं क्योंकि वह सैनिकों और निर्दोष लोगों के शवों से लदे ट्रकों को नहीं देखना चाहता।
कवि सार्वभौमिक भाईचारे और शांति को बढ़ावा दे रहा है। कवि कहता है कि प्रत्येक व्यक्ति अपने लक्ष्य को प्राप्त करने के लिए निरंतर कार्य कर रहा है। लोगों को मौत की धमकी दी जाती है और डर उन्हें अंतहीन काम करने के लिए मजबूर करता है ताकि वे सब कुछ जल्दी से हासिल कर सकें। वह चाहता है कि हम अपनी उपलब्धियों से खुश रहें और उनका जश्न मनाएं। जीवन निश्चित रूप से एक सतत गतिशील प्रक्रिया है और इसे मृत्यु से नहीं जोड़ा जाना चाहिए।
आत्मनिरीक्षण और मौन की इस घड़ी में, हमें खुद को बेहतर ढंग से समझने और मौत के खतरनाक कारण से बचने का समय मिलेगा। वह चाहता है कि हम मौत के डर पर काबू पाएं और कुछ देर आराम करें। कवि कहता है कि जब लोग थोड़ी देर चुप रहेंगे, तो उन्हें अपने जीवन के उद्देश्य का एहसास होगा। जैसे प्रकृति की सभी रचनाएं ऋतु परिवर्तन के साथ पुनर्जन्म लेती हैं, वैसे ही चुप रहना मानव आत्मा के लिए पुनर्जन्म होगा। यह हमारे जीवन को एक नया अर्थ देगा। फिर, कवि सभी मनुष्यों से कहता है कि वह बारह तक गिनेगा और सभी को उसके जाते समय चुप रहने के लिए कहता है।
Poem: Keeping Quiet
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.
For once on the face of the earth
let’s not speak in any language,
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.
Difficult Words and Meaning
- Still: Without movement, Calm
- For once: One single time
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines,
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.
Difficult Words and Meaning
- Exotic: Unusual, Strange
- Rush: Hurry
- Engines: Factory Vehicle
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victory with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.
Difficult Words and Meaning
- Green wars:
- Put on:
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Difficult Words and Meaning
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
Central Idea of the Poem: Keeping Quiet
The central idea of the poem Keeping Quiet is to keep silent for a moment and do nothing. The poet asks us to stop wars, where millions of innocent people are killed, destroying nature, killing animals, spreading pollution, and hurting humans, and spare some time to go deep into the soul.
Further, the poet says that silence is the universal language and hence as there will be no language barrier we all will be one, we won’t have greed and hate. There will be unity and fraternity. The poet believes keeping quiet will change our perspective and thinking because it does not mean inactivity but patience like nature.
चुप रहना कविता का केंद्रीय विचार एक पल के लिए चुप रहना और कुछ न करना है। कवि हमें युद्धों को रोकने के लिए कहता है, जहां लाखों निर्दोष लोग मारे जाते हैं, प्रकृति को नष्ट कर रहे हैं, जानवरों को मार रहे हैं, प्रदूषण फैला रहे हैं और इंसानों को चोट पहुंचा रहे हैं और आत्मा में गहराई तक जाने के लिए कुछ समय निकाल रहे हैं।
आगे कवि कहता है कि मौन सार्वभौमिक भाषा है और इसलिए कोई भाषा बाधा नहीं होगी, हम सभी एक होंगे, हमारे पास लालच और नफरत नहीं होगी। एकता और भाईचारा रहेगा। कवि का मानना है कि चुप रहने से हमारा नजरिया और सोच बदल जाएगी क्योंकि इसका मतलब निष्क्रियता नहीं बल्कि प्रकृति की तरह धैर्य है।
Questions and Answers
Q.1: What is the exotic moment the poet is wishing for?
Answer: The poet is wishing for that exotic moment when mankind will be free from greed, cruelty and harmful actions. The poet wishes the unnecessary noise of engines and machines should cease and peace and tranquility should prevail.
Q. 2: According to the poet, what can human beings learn from Nature?
Answer: Earth can teach a lesson to mankind on the preservation and resurrection of life and how new life is believed to rise from the ashes of the dead remains. The Earth never attains total inactivity. Nature remains at work under apparent stillness and keeps the Earth alive. Life never ceases on earth when everything appears to be dead only one thing remains alive and that is the earth itself.
Q. 3: What is the sadness that Pablo Neruda refers to in the poem ‘Keeping Quiet’?
Answer: The sadness that Pablo Neruda is worried about in his poem is the sadness of isolation that has made modern man its victim. This sadness has made man self-centred and uncaring to the needs of his fellowmen. He has sacrificed the needs of his emotional self in favour of materialism.
Q. 4: What are the different kinds of wars mentioned in the poem? What does the poet think about these wars?
Answer: The different wars Neruda mentions in the poem are green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire.
Neruda feels that these chemical and nuclear wars and the war that man wages against nature will lead him towards his doom.
Q. 5: How can keeping quiet change our attitude to life?
Answer: According to the poet when people on earth think of keeping quiet for some time, that will be an exotic moment when they will be able to forget their differences and a feeling of brotherhood will prevail among them. Most of the evil thoughts disappear when man becomes silent for a while. By keeping quiet, man will realize his follies and refrain from harmful and destructive activities.
Q. 6: What will counting up to twelve and keeping still help us to achieve? (Delhi 2015)
Answer: Counting up to twelve and keeping still will help us to introspect upon the kind of turmoil we have created in this world with our mind-less actions. This will be an exotic moment during which we will experience a sense of bonding with one another. It will give us an opportunity to understand each other and save ourselves from death.
Q. 7: What do you learn from the poem, ‘Keeping Quiet’?
Answer: The poem ‘Keeping Quiet’ emphasizes the need for quiet introspection and creating a feeling of mutual understanding among human beings. It conveys to us the poet’s philosophy of an exotic moment of silence which will be an antidote to violence, hatred and