Here you get the Keeping Quiet questions answers and short summary of class 12 in English AHSEC Assam Board. Also, previous year's papers ncert solution or notes with a textual and important question. It is also helpful for CBSE. The author Pablo Neruda of this poem.

keeping quiet summary class 12

The poem is a little different from many poems here the poet talks about the significance of silent introspection of ourselves. According to the poet often silence can achieve certain motives in the world which the rush and bustle are unable to do. He wishes that people should realize the worth of keeping quiet sometimes as he feels that we can analyze our inner consciousness only in complete silence. That is why he talks of counting from one to twelve and says that this much time is sufficient for the purpose. We should just keep quiet for till the counting to twelve, not even much, if we can spare these limited moments in our busy lives, we can know ourselves. He calls upon the people to speak nothing at all for some seconds at that time we only need to remain immovable and not speak in any language. This still and quiet moment will appear to be very unusual but nice. The moment will be free from all noise, rush, and worries of the modern industrialized world. The noise of all types of machines will be lacking in that tranquil moment. He feels that the silent moment will help the people feel that all are together and united also, this feeling of owness will cheer all.

The poet goes on to say that introspection will have different results in different types of people. He opines that after self-analysis the fishermen would stop harming the whales in the wide cold sea. And the person gathering salt would be sad to see his hurt hands and stop doing that. Both Will act in ways which they are required to, and not harm others or themselves. The ones who always make preparations for new battles will stop thinking for a moment about fire, gas, or guns. They will not think of a victory where all around are dead, they would keep away their blood-stained clothes and walk around with clean clothes on their bodies. They will have free time to spend with their fellow brothers sitting in the shade, away from the heat and chaos of the war-front.

The poet here reminds us that his words should not be misunderstood. He is talking about a temporary state of silence and immobility, but not a complete absence of activity. Absolute inactivity does not mean any good rather the poet is talking about taking some moments out from our busy, anxious, and hurried lives and examining our inner thoughts in silence. After all, the poet has nothing to do with death, he wants life. He also says that we should keep moving in our lives continuously without stopping, if we are seriously devoted we are bound to achieve anything in situations and will face threats equal to a fatal life. Therefore, we need to know and understand ourselves properly and this can be possible only in absolute silence, some moments are enough.

The poet says that we can learn from the earth itself how a little extent of silence can lead us to a better, novel world. During autumn and winter seasons the Earth seems to be quiet, still, dull and so still as if it dies. But again by the spring season, the same Earth becomes energized with new sounds, new activities, beauty, and freshness, and this time the entire world seems to be a new one. In the same way, men are busy in their chiastic and anxious daily lives and lose their patience. But if they keep silent and still for only a few seconds and introspect, they will be enlightened and will gain fresh energy and interest in life. A dull and monotonous life can also become a new and better one. At last, the poet leaves us with the counting to twelve and suggests to keep quiet while he bids farewell.

Textual Question Answer class 12

Think it out

1. What will counting upto twelve and keeping still help us achieve? (2012)
Ans: The poet urges us counting upto twelve and keeping still. Perhaps 'twelve' here represents the twelve-hour-marks on the clock. Most of the ills and troubles of the world are caused because of our rush and hurry. Keeping still will give us the necessary respite for peace.

2. Do you think the poet advocates total inactivity and death?
Ans: No, he doesn't. He makes it very clear that 'stillness' should not be confused and equated to total inactivity. Total inactivity brings death. But Neruda has 'no truck with death. His stillness means cessation of hostile and harmful human activities.

3. What is the 'sadness' that the poet refers to in the poem? (2015,20)
Ans: Man's sadness is formed out of his own thinking and actions. This is the tragedy of man. He understands so much but fails to understand himself and his actions. His rush and hurry cause trouble. Man is the author of all disasters. Due to his thinking and actions, he is always threatening himself with death.

4. What symbol from Nature does the poet invoke to say that there can be life under apparent stillness?
Ans: The poet doesn't want us to confuse 'stillness' with 'total inactivity'. There can be life under apparent stillness. The poet invokes the earth as a living symbol to prove his point. 'When everything seems dead....later proves to be alive.' The earth never attains total inactivity. Nature remains at work even under apparent stillness and it keeps the earth alive.

Previous years paper notes

1. What will be counting up to twelve and keeping still help us achieve? (2012)
Ans: The poet urges us to count up to twelve and keep still. Perhaps 'twelve' here represents the twelve-hour-marks on the clock. Most of the ills and troubles of the world are caused because of our rush and hurry. Keeping still will give us the necessary respite for peace. 

2."Those who prepare green wars,  (2012,15)
  Wars with gas, wars with fire,
  victory with no survivors,
  and walk about with their brothers
  in the shade, doing nothing.

(i) What are the different kinds of wars mentioned by the poet in the passage?
the different kinds of wars mentioned by the poet are chemical wars and nuclear wars.

(ii) What kind of victory do they achieve?
It will be a victory where no survivors will be left to celebrate it.

(iii) what should the war-mongers do?
The war-mongers should shun violence and treat all people as brothers.

(iv) Find the words in the passage that means 'those left alive' and 'win'.
Those left alive: survivors.
           Win: victory

3. What is the 'sadness' that Neruda talks of? (2014,15)
The 'sadness' that Neruda talks of in his poem "Keeping Quiet" is the sadness of never understanding ourselves due to our self-seeking activities. Thus we have filled our life with a void and a fear of death.

4. "Now we will count to twelve   (2016)
  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".

(i) How long does the poet want to stay still?
The poet wants to stay still till he counts twelve.

(ii) Why does he ask us to keep still and not use any language?
The poet asks us to keep still and not use any language because people of the world need excuses to fight among themselves. Let them keep quiet and not speak in any language. They may not indulge in reasoning, disputes, and quarrels among themselves.

(iii) What does the poet mean by 'not move our arms so much'?
Man has used arms only to kill and destroy others. Therefore,  let them not move their arms so much as to harm others.

5. What is the exotic moment the poet Pablo Neruda wishes for? (2016,18)
  The exotic moment the poet Pablo Neruda wishes for is a moment when mankind will be free from the rush, noise, harmful actions, and without engines of modern life.

6. Why does the poet Neruda 'wish to count to twelve'? (2017)
The poet Neruda ' wishes to count to twelve' and keep quiet so that they can experience an "exotic moment" of all being together in "a sudden strangeness.

7. "Perhaps the Earth can teach us  (2018)
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."

(i) What can the Earth teach us?
The earth can teach a lesson to mankind how to live on it.

(ii) Why does the poet count up to twelve?
The poet counts upto twelve because the twelve figures on the watch represent the movement of time.

(iii) What will 'keeping quiet' help us achieve?
Keeping quiet will help us in creating a feeling of mutual understanding and introspection among human beings. it will keep us away from harmful activities.

9. Why quietness would be an exotic moment for the speaker in 'Keeping Quiet'? (2019)
Quietness, a state of achieving productivity through self-introspection by suspending all activities. So it is an exotic moment for the speaker.

10. What is Pablo Neruda’s opinion about different kinds of wars? (2019)
The poet wants a total cessation of all kinds 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 their best dresses with their brothers and go out for a walk, enjoying themselves doing nothing.

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