Keeping Quiet Summary Class 12 Poem, Question, Answer

Keeping Quiet CBSE Class 12 NCERT English Poem Flamingo Lesson 3. Important questions, answer and Summary, Solutions, Word meaning of this chapter are given.

Keeping Quiet Summary Class 12 Poem, Question, Answer

Keeping Quiet Summary

Introduction

Pablo Neruda in this poem has emphasised the importance of introspection. Man has become very selfish and his own actions cause him many miseries. The world today stands divided by the man-made boundaries of caste, creed, race, religion, language, cultures, nationality and geographical divisions. We need to rise above these 'shadow lines' and look at the larger picture. The poet talks about the necessity of creating a feeling of mutual understanding among human beings.


Interpretation of the Poem


"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."

Explanation: The poet urges each one of us to count up to twelve and then be quiet. He wants a moment of silence on the Earth when no language is spoken. In this way there will be no language barrier between people. No harsh words will be spoken. In this moment of silence the poet doesn't want anyone to move their arms. He wants us to remain motionless.

"It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines,
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness."

Explanation: 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 all 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."

Explanation: In this moment of inactivity, the fisherman would not be catching fish. Hence, the whale in the cold water will be safe. This idea is suggestive of the thought that human beings would not destroy nature. Also, the man who gathers salt will be able to tend to his wounded hands for which he had no time earlier. Thus, both nature and humans will be able to recover from their wounds.


"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."

Explanation: The poet now speaks of those who wage wars against humanity or environment, wars of all kinds including the use of chemicals or poisonous gases, wars that bring death and destruction, wars that leave none to celebrate victory. He says that such men should stop their activity, shed their clothes stained with the blood of humanity, put on new clothes and walk with their brothers, building brotherhood. The poet implies that the war-torn world should be replaced by one with an atmosphere of peace, brotherhood and harmony.

"What I want should not be
confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death."

Explanation: The poet makes a clarification that though he is advocating the need for silence, his advice should not be confused with total inactivity. He does not want any association with death. He says that life is meant to be lived. Read More 

Keeping Quiet Summary in Hindi


"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."

Explanation: The poet further advises that people should stop being self-centred and selfish. For one moment they should not think of keeping their lives moving, meeting their ends and fulfilling their duties. That huge silence, which will arise from such a moment, will only serve to help the people. It will help them introspect and overcome their sadness of failing to understand themselves.
People have been threatening themselves with death by their activities. This moment of silence will give them time to understand themselves better.


Class 12th Summary of Keeping Quiet Explanation in video

"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."

Explanation: The poet feels that the Earth can enlighten us and guide us in this process of keeping quiet. He wants us to observe that there is some activity under apparent stillness; for instance, a seed appears to be 'dead', but huge fruit bearing trees are 'born' from such seeds lying 'dead' here and there.
Finally, the poet thinks that he has said what he intended to. Now he wants us to keep quiet while he is counting to twelve, after which he will leave.


Keeping Quiet: Word Meaning

The given word meaning and Summary of the CBSE class 12 NCERT english textbook.


Keeping Quiet Summary Class 12 Poem, Question, Answer

  • Still- quiet and motionless
  • Face- surface
  • Exotic- unusual and exciting
  • Rush- hurry
  • Engines- machines
  • Strangeness- something unusual or surprising
  • Cold sea- sea near the polar regions
  • Green wars- wars against nature or environment
  • Survivors- people left alive after a war
  • In the shade- under the trees
  • Confused- misunderstood
  • Inactivity- not doing anything
  • Want no truck with- refuse to deal with
  • Single-minded- thinking about or focusing only on one thing
  • Interrupt- stops or disturb
  • Threatening- endangering, causing trouble or threat

Question Answers of Keeping Quiet


(1) Read the extract given below and answer of the questions that follow.

"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

Question: Whom does 'we' refer to in the above lines?
Answer: 'We' refers to the human beings who are always thinking about their own progress and advancement.

Question: Why does the poet want us to 'do nothing' for once?
Answer: The poet wants us to `do nothing' for once so that our minds can be at peace and we are able to introspect and analyse our own actions.

Question: What is the 'sadness' that the poet refers to in the poem?
Answer: The poet refers to the 'sadness' which arises due to the fact that people fail to understand themselves. They have no time to introspect about their actions and their consequences.

Question: How can a huge silence do good to us?
Answer: A huge silence can do well to us because we are able to achieve peace in this silence. It helps us in analysing ourselves and our actions, interrupting the sadness of threatening ourselves with death.
Keeping Quiet Summary Class 12 Poem, Question, Answer
(2) Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

"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".

Question: What does the Earth teach us?
Answer: The Earth teaches us that there is life under apparent stillness. It means that we can still be alive even if we appear to be 'still' or 'calm'.

Question: What does the poet mean to achieve by counting up to twelve?
Answer: The poet wants to achieve peace by counting up to twelve. He wants us to introspect in a moment of silence.

Question: What is the significance of 'keeping quiet'?
Answer: Keeping quiet doesn't mean keeping mute. It means that we should avoid all such activities which hurt nature and, in turn, harm us.

Question: What is alive always when everything seems dead?
Answer: Only the Earth is alive when everything else appears to be dead.

(3) Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

"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."

Question: Name the poem and the poet.
Answer: The poem is Keeping Quiet, and the poet is Pablo Neruda.

Question: How long does the poet want to stay still?
Answer: The poet urges each one of us to count up to twelve and remain still.

Question: What does he hope to achieve by keeping quiet?
Answer: The poet hopes that by keeping quiet we will get an opportunity to introspect. The strange stillness will give a feeling of togetherness.

Question: What does the poet mean by 'not move our arms' so much?
Answer: The poet wants us not to move our arms so much because physical activity leads to stopping our introspection. Not moving our arms also suggests stopping all kinds of violence.

(4) Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

"Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands."

Question: What does the poet expect of the fishermen and why?
Answer: The poet expects that in the moment of stillness the fishermen will get time to introspect. They would not harm the whales for the moment.

Question: What will the man gathering salt do?
Answer: The man gathering salt will stop for a while and tend to his wounded hands.

Question: What do the 'hurt hands' imply?
Answer: Its 'Hurt hands' imply the destruction that humans have caused to themselves and the environment in pursuit of their selfish needs.


Conclusion

The poem opens with the poet’s appeal to begin with a count to twelve to achieve a moment of silence. The poet links silence with hope for a moment of togetherness. The repetition of the poet’s request to count to twelve in the first and the last stanza creates a personal space of silence in the poem.
Keeping Quiet Summary Class 12 Poem, Question, Answer Keeping Quiet Summary Class 12 Poem, Question, Answer Reviewed by Shiksha Vatika on December 26, 2019 Rating: 5

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