Here I have shared with you Class 12 Keeping Quiet summary and class 12 NCERT solutions and additional question answers. You will also get keeping quiet poem summary in Hindi. You can also download Keeping Quiet Poem in pdf
Table of Contents
About The Poet- Pablo Naruda
Pablo Neruda, born as Ricardo Eliecer Neftali Reyes Basoaltowas one of the most influential and widely read poets of the 20th century. He started writing at an early age, and by the time he had finished high school, his work was published in several papers and magazines. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. He was a diplomat and a politician.
Brief Summary of the Poem Keeping Quiet
The poem, ‘Keeping Quiet’, begins with the poet, Pablo Neruda, urging everyone on earth to maintain a moment of silence and refrain from speech. There should be absolutely no movement. Those who are at work should stop working.
Though there is physical stillness, he directs us to think and reflect. Nature and mankind will have time to look at their hurt and get over it. The poet encourages us to be involved in reflection and introspection to have a more meaningful existence as an individual and as a member of society
Analysis of the 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”
The poet says that all should count to twelve and then be quiet. The poet says that nobody should speak in any language. He wants a moment of silence on this earth. Let there be no movement or activity during this time of silence. All should be motionless without even the slightest movement of arms
“It would be an exotic moment
Without rush, without engines
We would all be together
In a sudden strangeness.”
The poet feels that such a moment of silence would be an unusual and exciting one. It will have miraculous consequences. There will be no hurry or the sound of machines to pollute the atmosphere. It will be a strange and unfamiliar moment with stillness as around. In this unusual period, the bonds of humanity will get stronger.
“Fishermen in the cold sea
Would not harm whales
And the man gathering salt Would look at his hurt hands.”
The poet urges to the fishermen-At this moment, fishermen bearing harsh weather and cold, to earn their livelihood should not catch or harm fish. The worker involved in gathering salt should look at his injured hands, for which he did not have time before. Here, in this moment, where all activity is suspended, both man and nature have time to recover from their hurt.
“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.”
Those who are involved in different kinds of warfare and inflicting suffering on others can relax in harmonious brotherhood. These wars are against the environment and also against humanity. At times during these wars, victory comes at a huge cost. There are no survivors to celebrate the victory. The soldiers of war can cast off their stained clothes and put on clean clothes. They can enjoy fellowship with their brothers in a peaceful atmosphere.
“What I want should not be confused
With total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.”
Here, the poet clarifies that he is not advocating being completely inactive, without doing anything. Though they are physically still, their minds are at work. A moment of reflection will bring in realization. Absolute physical and mental stillness will be similar to death and the poet does not want any association with death.
“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.”
Collectively, we human beings are too focused on keeping our lives afloat and fulfilling our materialistic aims and responsibilities. We do not stop to look at ourselves and the world around us. By being silent and introspecting, we can bring to an end the misery of not understanding ourselves.
“Perhaps the Earth can teach us
As when everything seems dead
And later proves to be alive.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
We can learn from the earth. There is a period of hibernation and inactivity, after which there is revival and activity. During winter, nature appears to be sleeping and at rest. This stillness of winter gives way to the bloom of spring, where nature is rejuvenated after a period of rest. We must not shy away from keeping quiet and reflecting. The poet repeats the first line saying that he will count up to twelve. We can keep quiet, reflect, and introspect to enable us to lead more meaningful lives.
Keeping Quiet Question- Answers
Keeping Quiet Class 12 NCERT Solutions And Additional Questions
Very Short Answer Questions (1 mark each)
1. Who is the poet of “Keeping Quiet”?
Ans. The poet of the poem ‘Keeping Quiet’ is Pablo Neruda.
2. What is the real name of Pablo Neruda?
Ans. The real name of Pablo Neruda is Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto.
3. What does the poet, ‘Keeping Quiet’ wish us to do?
Ans. The poet of ‘Keeping Quiet’ wants all the people of the earth to keep silent and experience an exotic moment.
4. What is an ‘exotic moment’ in “Keeping Quiet”?
Ans. ‘Exotic moment’ in “Keeping Quiet’ means an extraordinary moment of peace that is away from the din and rush of the modem life.
5. How can we all be together in a ‘sudden strangeness’?
Ans. All of humanity will unite in this one moment of strange and unfamiliar silence. People would not be rushing from one place to another. Vehicles would not be running. Their engines would be silent.
6. What is meant by ‘green wars’?
Ans. Green wars imply waging war against nature by causing environmental degradation.
7. What is the ‘huge silence’ that the poet talks about in the poem?
Ans. The ‘huge silence’ that the poet talks about in the poem is the time spent in silence to reflect and introspect.
8. How can we all be together, according to Neruda?
Ans.According to Neruda, we can all be together by maintaining a moment of silence at the same time. Nobody would be rushing about doing something or the other.
9. What is the ’sadness’ that grips us?
Ans. The ‘sadness’ that has gripped us is of not understanding ourselves.
10. What does ’Earth’ signify in this poem?
Ans. ‘Earth’ in this poem signifies nature.
Short Answer Type Questions (2 Marks)
1. What will counting up to twelve and keeping still help us achieve? (2012)
Why does the poet Neruda ‘wish to count to twelve’? 2017
What is the significance of keeping quiet?
How can keeping quiet change our attitude to life?
Ans. The poet, Pablo Neruda wishes to count to twelve so that we maintain silence and refrain from physical activity for a short period. In this brief time, we can reflect and look inward to introspect. It will promote peace and brotherhood among men. It will make us energetic.
2. Which is the exotic moment that the poet refers to in ‘Keeping Quiet’?
What is considered an ‘exotic moment’ in the poem?
Why quietness would be an exotic moment for the speaker in ‘Keeping Quiet’? 2019
Ans. An “exotic moment” in ‘Keeping Quiet’ would be a moment of silence, when everyone would refrain from speech and be still, without activity. This would be an unusual moment of excitement. Being silent and contemplating is usually alien to human behaviour. Hence, being silent is considered to be an exotic moment in the poem.
3. What is the sadness that the poet refers to in the poem ‘Keeping Quiet’? (2013, 2014, 2015)
Ans. The sadness that Neruda talks about in ‘Keeping Quiet’ is the sorrow of not understanding ourselves. We go about life rather mechanically without knowing what we like or what we want to do. We are immensely busy in achieving materialistic things which ultimately leads to sadness. We can understand ourselves only if we stop all our actives for moments and do some quiet introspection.
4. What symbol from nature does the poet invoke that there can be life under apparent stillness?
Ans. The poet use nature as a symbol to explain his idea that there can be life under apparent stillness. An example from nature is the earth itself, as, when everything seems dead, it later proves to be alive.
5. What are the different kinds of wars mentioned in the poem? What is Neruda’s attitude towards these wars? (2013, 2017)
Ans. The poet writes about was against humanity and nature. Green wars, wars with poisonous gases and wars with fire are the kinds of wars mentioned in the poem. Neruda’s attitude towards war is one of rejection. He feels that such wars may bring victory, but there are no survivors to celebrate the victory.
6. Do you think that the poet advocates total inactivity and death?
Ans. No, the poet does not advocate total inactivity and death. He clarifies that he has no truck with death. According to him, life is meant to be lived to the fullest. He just wants the inhuman and destructive activities to stop. He says that the essence of life is activity while inactivity is death.
7. What does the earth teach us? (2018)
According to the poet, what is that human beings can learn from nature?
Ans. We can learn certain lessons from the earth. There is a period of hibernation and inactivity, after which there is revival and activity. During winter, nature appears to be sleeping and at rest. This stillness of winter gives way to the bloom of spring, where nature is rejuvenated after a period of rest. The earth is never dead when everything seems to be dead, it remains still alive. Similarly, we must keep quiet and introspect in order to lead more meaningful and fulfilling lives.
8. “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,
And not move our arms so much.”
(a) What does the poet mean by ‘not move our arms’ so much?
Ans. The poet wants us not to move our arms so much because physical activity leads to stopping out introspection. Not moving our arms also suggests stopping all kinds of violence.
9. What does the poet to convey by addressing the fishermen and the man gathering salt?
Ans. The poet is against any kind of violence. He wants the fisherman that they should not harm whales in the sea and introspect and analyse their actions and their consequences. The poet against any kind of self-torturing in his greed to collect more and more salt, the salt gathering man has hurt his hand. He must look after himself and take care of his hand.
10. Why should we not we speak in any language?
Ans. The poet wants us not to speak in any language because we waste our lots of time in unnecessary talks and fail to introspect our activities. There will be no language barrier and no harsh word will be spoken if we don’t speak in any language.
11. What does the poet say about different kinds of wars? What alternative does he suggest? (2017)
What is Pablo Neruda’s opinion about different kinds of wars? 2019
Ans. The poet wants a total cessation of all kind of wars. Green wars against the environment, wars with poisonous gases and fire must stop immediately. Instead of indulging in wars, the people must come out in their best dresses with their brothers. They should go out for a walk, enjoying themselves doing nothing.
12. Why does the poet say “I want no truck with death”?
Ans. The poet clarifies that he wants no association with death. He is advocating stillness and quietness to introspect, not total inactivity or death.
13. What is the significance of the phrase ‘On the face of the earth’ in Neruda’s?
Ans. The significance of the phrase ‘on the face of the earth’ is that although different people speak different languages on this earth, for a moment, they should stop talking in different languages and remain silent for self-introspection.
14. Why does the poet ask us to count to twelve?
What is the significance of twelve in keeping quiet?
Ans. The poet asks us to count to twelve as there are 12 hours represented on a clock or as there are twelve months in a year.
15. “Fishermen in the cold sea would not harm whales. “ What is meant by the above line by Neruda?
Ans.Neruda means that the fishermen would not strive to catch or harm sea life or creatures in the sea. He wants the fisherman that they should introspect and analyse their actions and their consequences When silence is maintained, and there is no movement, the fishermen would also be still and not be involved in fishing. The sea creatures would also get temporary respite from the nets of the fishermen.
16. “… and the man gathering salt would look at his hurt hands. ” What is meant by, gathering salt in the above lines? How are his hands hurt?
Ans. Gathering salt is a reference to the process of harvesting salt from salt pan. The men involved in this work would be too busy to look at the wounds on their hands. The poet against any kind of self-torturing.In his greed to collect more and more salt, the salt gathering man has hurt his hand. He must look after himself and take care of his hand.
17. What is the meaning of
- Wars with gas
- Wars with fire
Ans. Wars with gas mean chemicals are used to produce poisonous gas. E.g.- the gas used in concentration camps during the Holocaust, in Germany.
Wars with fire mean using weapons like guns and firearms to shoot.
18. Who are the ‘brothers’ mentioned in the poem?
Ans. The ‘brothers’ mentioned in the poem, ‘Keeping Quiet’ are fellow human beings of soldiers involved in warfare. In the moment of stillness, there will be no wars and all of humanity would bond in brotherhood instead of being divided across lines.
19. What is the likely confusion regarding Neruda’s desire?
Ans. The confusion likely to result from Neruda’s desire of refraining from speech and movement is that people might think he is in favour of total inactivity. A complete pause would be similar to death. The poet says that he does not want any association with death.
20. What is the message of the poem keeping quiet?
Ans: The message of the poem is that Counting up to twelve takes a very short time. Keeping still for this brief interval of time gives us a monetary pause to introspect and review the course of action. It will promote peace and brotherhood among men. It will make us energetic.
21. How would man be together in a sudden strangeness?
Ans: An exotic moment will help us to be in sudden strangeness. An “exotic moment” in ‘Keeping Quiet’ would be a moment of silence, when everyone would refrain from speech and be still, without activity. This would be an unusual moment of excitement. Being silent and contemplating is usually alien to human behaviour. Hence, being silent is considered to be an exotic moment in the poem.
22. What is always alive when everything seems dead?
Ans: When everything seems dead, earth still remains alive. We can learn certain lessons from the earth. There is a period of hibernation and inactivity, after which there is revival and activity. During winter, nature appears to be sleeping and at rest. This stillness of winter gives way to the bloom of spring, where nature is rejuvenated after a period of rest. The earth is never dead when everything seems to be dead, it remains still alive. Similarly, we must keep quiet and introspect in order to lead more meaningful and fulfilling lives.
Read the following extracts and answer the following questions (keeping quiet reference to context):-
1. Now we will count to twelve……………and not to move our arms so much. 2020
(a) How long does the poet want to stay still?
Ans. The poet wants to stay still until everyone counts to twelve.
(b) Why does the poet ask us to count to twelve?
Ans. There are only twelve-hour signs on the clock to measure hours. Therefore, he asks us to count until the clock measures those hours.
(c) ‘Let’s not speak in any language’ says Neruda, why?
Ans See Q.no 10
(d) What does the poet mean by not move our arms so much?
Ans. The poet means that we should not involve in any physical activity.
(e) Why should we not move our arms so much?
Ans. The poet wants us not to move our arms because man has used arms only to kill and destroy others.
2. It would be an exotic moment…………………in a sudden strangeness.
(a) What kind of moment will it be?
Ans. It will be a very enticing and beautiful moment.
(b) What will happen if there is no rush or running of engines?
Ans. There will be peace all around if there is no rush or the sound of (running off) machines and engines.
(c) How would all of us feel at that time?
Ans. All of us will enjoy the sudden strangeness and unusualness of that moment.
3.”fishermen in the cold sea……….hurt hands.
(a) what do the fishermen do in the cold sea?
Ans: The fishermen catch fish in the cold sea and kill the wales.
(b) what has happened to the man gathering salt?
Ans: The man gathering the salt has hurt his hand.
(c) find words from the passage that mean ‘those who collect fish’ and ‘collecting’.
Ans. “Those who collect fish”- fishermen; ‘collecting ‘ – gathering.
4. “ those who prepare green wars,………..doing nothing.
(a) what are the different kinds of wars mentioned by the poet?
Ans: the different kinds of war mentioned by the poet are- green wars, war with gases and war with fire.
(b) what kind of victory that they achieve?
Ans: They achieve victory with no survivors left.
(c) what should warmongers(जंगबाज़) do?
Ans: The warmongers should walk about with their brothers in the shade, doing nothing.
(d) find the word in the passage that means ‘ those left alive’ and ‘win’
Ans: those left alive- survivors
5. “ what I want should not be confused………………with death.
(a) what does the poet not want to be?
Ans: the poet wants us that we should not be confused with total inactivity.
(b) what does the poet mean by ‘I want no truck with death’?
Ans: Total inactivity brings death. The poet has no association with death. hence does not advocate for death.
(c) what is the sadness that he refers to?
Ans: see Q. no.- 3