POEM 3 Here’s the quick notes for all of you for last minute revision…after revising the notes do attempt the Google form. LINK PROVIDED .GOOGLE FORMS PAGE JOIN MY TELEGRAM GROUP FOR LATEST RESOURCES/STUDY MATERIAL. TELEGRAM CHANNEL.

Poem: Keeping Quiet Poet : Pablo Neruda

● Theme: the importance of keeping quiet, self analysis/introspection and
recollect/retrospection .

● Meaning of the title ‘Keeping quiet’:

I) the power of silence and self-analysis/introspection.
2)a cure/antidote to war,violence,hatred, exploitation of nature and turmoil.
3)much of the evil shall disappear in the depths of understanding.

Lines 1 to 6:
● silence will bring unity among all the humans on the earth.
● count to twelve is a measure of time: I)clock hours or twelve months in a year.
ii)indicates the time of activity which generates noise and movement.
iii)importance of taking a break/pause from busy lives to realize/ponder over, the
impact of our deeds and feel happy on our achievements.
● The word arms represent body part as well as war ammunition.

Lines 7 to 10:
● extreme silence and stillness will be exotic and strange.
● Strange because it has never occurred (happened) earlier in the history of the
● bond of humanity will get stronger.
● ‘without rush, without engines’ means without/unlike the competitive world in
which we are engaged in a rat race to outshine others.

Lines 11 to 14
● Tells man’s continuous suffering.
● Fishermen represent the people in power/ the oppressors who just want to harm
● whales are the oppressed men
● cold sea represents the hearts which have become indifferent and insensitive to
the needs of common people referred as man gathering salt.
● Hurt hands implies self-inflicted injuries caused by harmful activities carried
without thinking/ thoughtlessly in our lives.
● in this moment of silence the oppressors would become inactive.
● calmness/tranquility shall prevail.
● In this moment of silence, inactivity and self-realisation :-
I)man will not harm nature and
2)both human beings and nature will get some time to heal/tend to their wounds
and recover.
3)evil will come to an end.

Lines 15 to 24:
● those who are busy in:-
1)destroying nature by
exploiting it,
2)preparing wars and
3)harming mankind,
will realise the outcomes of their actions.
● adopt a new approach towards life by stopping/halting destructive activities.
● Clean clothes mean a fresh (new) approach.
● Change in perspective will:-
1)lead to universal brotherhood bringing peace and harmony.
2)make people realise that wars won by killing people cannot be celebrated as a
● total inactivity or total silence has nothing to do with death.
● It means that everyone takes a short break to heal/ recuperate and re-energize.

Lines 25 to 31
● tell us that all human beings are in a mad rush.
● Single-minded means driven by the aim to complete our works/tasks.
● by pausing for a while they can:-
1)appreciate their achievements 2)and their lives will become happier.
● a moment of peace will throw you into ocean of happiness./make us content.

Lines 32 to 36
● suggest we take a teaching from nature.
● Earth personified as a teacher.
● Stillness does not mean death by total inactivity.
● As the earth undergoes change everything:- 1)freezes, 2)becomes lifeless
● after sometime when the season changes again, everything comes back to life.
● Keeping quiet a rebirth for the human soul.
● It will give a new meaning to our life.
● ‘I will go’ means the poet will move on to spread the message of benefits of silence
to other people.
● ‘I’ can also be considered as ego.
● The power of quiet introspection will remove/subdue man’s ego.


  1. Alliteration( repetition of sound): we will, once on, we would, sudden strangeness,
    his hurt hands,wars with,clean clothes,we were.
  2. Anaphora ( repetition of successive phrases or lines begin with the same words):
    let’s not speak, let’s stop.
  3. Antithesis (two opposite ideas are put together):
    I)count to twelve (an action taking place), we will all keep still(no action).
    II)seems dead, proves to be alive
  4. Hyperbole and Irony: victory with no survivors.
  5. Imagery: fishermen,sea, whales,man gathering salt, hurt hands.
  6. Pun: Arms has a dual meaning of a body part as well as a war ammunition.
  7. Metaphor: wars with gas, wars with fire, put on clean clothes,in the shade(protect
    each other as brothers)
  8. Personification: Earth( face of earth, earth as a teacher)
  9. Repetition: without rush, without engines; wars with gas, wars with fire.
  10. Symbols: count to twelve( clock hours or months in a year), fishermen (oppressors),
    whales( oppressed), man gathering salt (common man), clean clothes ( new
  11. Synecdoche (a part is made to represent the whole): brothers represents
  12. Transferred epithet: cold sea( feeling has been transferred to sea)
  14. What will counting up to twelve and keeping still help us achieve?
    Ans. The whole purpose of this is to to pause in our lives for a few moments and
    stay still so that we can judge our needs and know what we are doing. By doing this,
    we can find solutions to all our problems.
  15. What different kinds of war does the poet refer to in the poem?
    Ans. The poet refers to green wars, wars with gas and wars with fire.
  16. Does the poet advocate total inactivity and death by keeping still?
    Ans. No the poet does not advocate total inactivity and death by keeping still. He
    means stopping of harmful activities that bring destruction. This short break will give
    time to all to reflect on our actions.
  17. What is the sadness that the poet refers to in the poem?
    Ans. The sadness means the disappointment which has surrounded our lives. We
    are doing so much work but we do not realise that our acts are not making us happy.
  18. What can Earth teach us?/ What can we learn from Earth?
    Ans. The Earth teaches us that stillness does not mean death by total inactivity. It
    appears to be dead on the surface but beneath the surface is life. As the earth
    undergoes changes everything freezes, becomes lifeless but after sometime when
    the season changes again, everything comes back to life