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Keeping Quiet NCERT Textbook With Solutions Book PDF Free Download
Chapter 3: Keeping Quiet
Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) is the pen name of Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto who was born in the town of Parral in Chile. Neruda’s poems are full of easily understood images which make them no less beautiful. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in the year 1971.
In this poem, Neruda talks about the necessity of quiet introspection and creating a feeling of mutual understanding among human beings
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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NCERT Solutions Class 12 English Chapter 3 Keeping Quiet
1. What will be counting up to twelve and keeping still help us achieve?
Counting up to twelve takes a short time. Staying still for this duration of time provides us a momentary pause to review and introspect the course of action.
It is normally seen that most of the troubles and ills of the world are caused due to our hurry or rush. Violence is often the result of anger. Keeping still and quiet ensures peace and provides us necessary respite.
2. Do you think the poet advocates total inactivity and death?
No, he does not advocate death or total inactivity. He says that ‘stillness’ shouldn’t be equated to or confused with ‘total inequality’ which brings death. Neruda has ‘no truck with death’. His stillness indicates the halting of hostile and harmful human activities.
3. What is the ‘sadness’ that the poet refers to in the poem?
The sadness of a man is formed by his own thoughts and actions. It is ironic to notice that a person who can understand so much fails to understand his actions and himself.
Rash actions are always disastrous and harmful. All disasters are created by man. He is threatening himself with death by his actions and thoughts. This is the disaster of his life.
4. What symbol from Nature does the poet invoke to say that there can be life under apparent stillness?
The poet wants to show that under apparent stillness life can still exist. To prove his point, he invokes the earth as a living symbol. The earth will never attain total inactivity.
Nature remains at work at all times, even under apparent stillness and keeps the earth alive. This idea is illustrated beautifully in the following lines – “as when everything seems dead and later proves to be alive’.
NCERT Class 12 English Textbook Chapter 3 Keeping Quiet With Answer PDF Free Download