Pages

Keeping Quiet - Complete Text




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.





Disclaimer

Kindly note that this copy of the text prescribed by NCERT has been reproduced for free circulation among students of CBSE board to help them prepare for their exams through electronic medium. English Emperor does not hold any copyright over the material. Therefore, kindly do not reproduce this text without permission from the original copyright holder(s) if you are reproducing it for any purpose other than educational.








No comments:

Post a Comment