Keeping Quiet Question Answers, NCERT Solutions| Class 12 Poem 3


Flamingo Book Poem 3 - Keeping Quiet Question Answers


NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Flamingo Book Poem 3 Keeping Quiet Important Question Answers

Looking for Keeping Quiet question answers (NCERT solutions) for CBSE Class 12 English Flamingo Book Poem 3? Look no further! Our comprehensive compilation of important questions will help you brush up on your subject knowledge. Practising Class 12 English question answers can significantly improve your performance in the board exam. Our solutions provide a clear idea of how to write the answers effectively. Improve your chances of scoring high marks by exploring Poem 3: Keeping Quiet question answers now. The questions listed below are based on the latest CBSE exam pattern, wherein we have given NCERT solutions to the chapter’s extract based questions, multiple choice questions, short answer questions, and long answer questions

 Also, practising with different kinds of questions can help students learn new ways to solve problems that they may not have seen before. This can ultimately lead to a deeper understanding of the subject matter and better performance on exams. 

Poem 3 Keeping Quiet Extract Based Questions

Extract-based questions are of the multiple-choice variety, and students must select the correct option for each question by carefully reading the passage.



A. “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.” (CBSE QB, 2021)


1. The poet uses the word “let’s” to _______
A) initiate a conversation between the poet and the readers.
B) invite readers as part of the poem’s larger call to humanity.
C) welcome readers into the world of the poem and its subject.
D) address readers as fellow members of the human race.
Ans. B) invite readers as part of the poem’s larger call to humanity.

2. Margaret Atwood said, “Language divides us into fragments, I wanted to be whole.” Choose the option that correctly comments on the relationship between Margaret Atwood’s words and the line from the above extract – “let’s not speak in any language”
A) Atwood endorses Neruda’s call to not speak in any language.
B) Atwood justifies Neruda’s request to not engage in any speaking.
C) Atwood undermines Neruda’s intent to stop and not speak in any language.
D) Atwood surrenders to Neruda’s desire for silence and not speak in any language.
Ans. A) Atwood endorses Neruda’s call to not speak in any language.

3. Why do you think the poet employs words like “exotic” and “strangeness”?
A) To highlight the importance of everyone being together suddenly for once.
B) To emphasize the frenetic activity and chaos that usually envelops human life.
C) To indicate the unfamiliarity of a sudden moment without rush or without engine.
D) To direct us towards keeping quiet and how we would all be together in that silence.
Ans. B) To emphasize the frenetic activity and chaos that usually envelops human life.

4 Choose the option that correctly matches the idioms given in Column A with their meanings in Column B.

Column A Column B 
1. On the face of the earth (i) In existence
2. What on earth (ii) To do all possible to accomplish something 
3. Move heaven and earth (iii) To express surprise or shock
4. The salt of the earth (iv) To be good and worthy


A) 1 – (i); 2 – (iv); 3 – (iii); 4 – (ii)
B) 1 – (i); 2 – (iii); 3 – (ii); 4 – (iv)
C) 1 – (ii); 2 – (i); 3 – (iv); 4 – (iii)
D) 1 – (iv); 2 – (ii); 3 – (iii); 4 – (i)
Ans. B) 1 – (i); 2 – (iii); 3 – (ii); 4 – (iv)

B. Perhaps the Earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive
Now I’ll count upto twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.” (All India 2013)


  1. What does the Earth teach us?
    Ans. The Earth teaches us how new life springs from dead remains, and how there is life under apparent stillness.
  1. What does the poet mean to achieve by counting up to twelve?

Ans. The poet wants to achieve peace by counting up to twelve. He wants us to introspect in a moment of silence.

  1. What is the significance of ’keeping quiet’? 

Ans. Keeping quiet doesn’t mean just not speaking. It means that we should avoid all activities which hurt nature and, in turn, hurt us.

  1. What is always alive, even when everything seems to be dead?

Ans. The Earth is always alive, even when everything else seems to be dead. There is always some activity going on in nature beneath its apparent stillness.


C. “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.” (CBSE QB, 2021)


  1. Look at the images given below. Choose the image to which the above extract can be seen as an appropriate response.

appropriate response

A) Option (i)
B) Option (ii)
C) Option (iii)
D) Option (iv)
Ans. D) Option (iv)

2. What do you think is the mood of the poet in the above extract?
A) gloomy, cynical
B) reflective, inspired
C) introspective, aware
D) critical, demotivated
Ans. C) introspective, aware

3. Pick the option that DOES NOT complete the given sentence suitably, as per the extract.
Threatening ourselves with death __________
A) feeds on the fear of death.
B) challenges the finiteness of life.
C) keeps us rushing through life.
D) makes us restless and impatient.
Ans. B) challenges the finiteness of life.

4. What might the “huge silence” signify?
A) melancholy
B) understanding
C) discomfort
D) flexibility
Ans. B) understanding

D. For once on the face of the Earth
let’s not speak in any language,
let’s stop for one second,
arid not move our arms so much.” (Delhi 2012)


  1. Why does the poet want us to keep quiet?

Ans. The poet wants us to keep quiet in the hope that the moment of tranquility might help us in finding the answers to our problems.

  1. What does he want us to do for one second?

Ans. The poet wants us to be silent and motionless for one second.

  1. What does he mean by “not move our arms”? 

Ans. The poet means that we should be in a state of total stillness with no physical activity at all.

  1. How can this moment of stillness help us?

Ans. This moment of stillness can provide us physical and mental rest, during which our mind will be at peace. We can analyze our actions and their consequences and avoid rash or thoughtless behavior.


E. It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines,
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.” (Foreign 2011)


  1. What will happen if there is no rush or running of engines?

Ans.  It will be an ecstatic moment of tranquility without rush or running of engines.

  1. Why would it be called an exotic moment?

Ans. It would be called an exotic moment because it would be an instance of universal peace and brotherhood. In that moment, all of us would initiate introspection through meditation and the whole world will be enveloped in quietness.

  1. According to the poet, how would we feel at that moment? 

Ans. We would feel very strange at that moment, because at that time everyone will have a feeling of oneness with their fellow human beings. It will be a new feeling altogether.

  1. Name the poem and the poet.

Ans. The poem is ‘Keeping Quiet’, and the poet is Pablo Neruda.


F. What I want should not be confused with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death. (CBSE Sample Paper 2018)


1  Name the poem and the poet of the above stanza.
Ans. This extract is taken from the poem ‘Keeping Quiet’ written by ‘Pablo Neruda’.

2 What does the poet mean by “inactivity‟?
Ans. This poem emphasises the importance of remaining calm and quiet. The poet believes that all of our problems stem from the frantic pace of our lives. However, his point of view should not be confused with complete inactivity. His idea of ‘keeping quiet’ is silence, not inactivity, lethargy, or idleness.He advises everyone to take a break from the world’s frenzy. He believes that observing stillness every now and then helps people to spring back into action.

3 Explain what life is all about, according to the poet?
Ans. The poem’s title alludes to the significance of silence. The poem emphasises the significance of self-examination and introspection. It is also an appeal for global peace. It conveys the message of finding peace and tranquillity through leisurely introspection.

4  What is the ultimate expectation of the poet from all human beings?
Ans. Taking a break from our monotonous routine by ‘counting up to twelve’ and ‘keeping still,’ according to the poet, will help us better understand ourselves and those around us. The silence will help us understand the importance of peace and tranquillity in this age of futile activities. As a result, they will aid us in introspection and self-analysis.


G. 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. (CBSE Sample Paper 2022)


1 Which of these uses the same poetic device as used in the third line of the extract?
A. The boy ran at lightning speed.
B. The little joys of life are necessary.
C. The absence of his presence was felt.
D. The hooter buzzed when the shooter shot.
Ans. C. The absence of his presence was felt

2 From the extract, identify the line or phrase that suggests the following: Humans are involved in the exploitation of natural resources.
Ans. “Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire, victory with no survivors…”

3 Based on the extract, which of these best describes the poet?
(i) prudent
(ii) spiritual
(iii) visionary
(iv) methodical
A. (i) and (ii)
B. (i) and (iii)
C. (ii) and (iv)
D. (ii), (iii) and (iv)
Ans. B. (i) and (iii)

4 Complete the sentence appropriately in no more than TWO words. When the poet says that people who participate in wars ‘would put on clean clothes’ he means that they should __________.
Ans. start afresh/adopt peace.

5 Based on the extract, select the correct option with reference to (1) and (2).
(1) Not every win is a triumph.
(2) Self reflection is crucial to evolution.
A. (1) is the result of (2)
B. Both (1) and (2) are true
C. Both (1) and (2) are false
D. (1) is a hypothesis based on (2)
Ans. B. Both (1) and (2) are true

6 Which of these is an appropriate title for the extract?
A. Standing in Solitude
B. Looking for Prosperity
C. The Desire for Renewal
D. The Road to Uncertainty
Ans. C. The Desire for Renewal


Multiple Choice Questions for Poem 3 Keeping Quiet

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) are a type of objective assessment in which a person is asked to choose one or more correct answers from a list of available options. An MCQ presents a question along with several possible answers.

Q1. What can be a cure or an antidote to violent actions?
A) speaking practice
B) wise words
C) polished language
D) Practice of silence
Ans. D) Practice of silence

Q2. What is the sadness in the poem that the poet speaks about ?
A) violence because of unthoughtfulness of the people
B) unnecessary movements
C) speaking aloud
D) fighting
Ans. A) violence because of unthoughtfulness of the people

Q3. What does the earth symbolize?
A) perseverance and new beginning from seemingly stillness
B) stillness
C) greenery
D) prosperity
Ans. A) perseverance and new beginning from seemingly stillness

Q4. What is always alive even when everything seems to be dead or still?
A) mountains
B) rivers
C) Sun
D) Earth and nature
Ans. D) Earth and nature

Q5. Why does the poet request people to keep quiet?
A) to maintain silence
B) to avoid noise
C) to be friendly
D) to become more thoughtful and peaceful
Ans.D) to become more thoughtful and peaceful

Q6. What will happen if there are no engines and no crowd?
A) noise will be lessened
B) no crowd on roads
C) no traffic rush
D) it will create a perfect, happy moment
Ans. D) it will create a perfect, happy moment

Q7. Why is the moment of silence called Exotic?
A) because of the beautiful scenery around
B) because of the gathering
C) because of large gathering
D) because of perfect peace and harmony
Ans. D) because of perfect peace and harmony

Q8. What would everyone feel at that exotic moment?
A) happy
B) content
C) dancing
D) strange blissful oneness
Ans. D) strange blissful oneness

Q9. Which poetic device has been used in ‘Hurt Hands’?
A) Pun
B) Similie
C) Antithesis
D) Alliteration
Ans. D) Alliteration

Q10. Why is the poet asking everyone not to speak any language?
A) to avoid noise
B) to avoid loud voices
C) to avoid people
D) to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings
Ans. D) to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings

Q11. What is the poet expecting from fishermen?
A) to find more fish
B) to go deeper into the sea
C) to think and stop harming the fish
D) none
Ans. C) to think and stop harming the fish

Q12. While gathering salt, what will happen to the man if he keeps silent for a moment?
A) he will think of the harm the salt is doing to his hands
B) he will look at the ground
C) he will walk carefully
D) he will stop dropping it
Ans. A) he will think of the harm the salt is doing to his hands

Q13. What does a hurt hand refer to ?
A) Growing needs of the man
B) growing greed of man
C) growing insensitivity of man to pain
D) unfulfilled desires
Ans. C) growing insensitivity of man to pain

Q14. How will silence benefit man and nature?
A) both will be friends
B) man will stop hurting nature and both will heal themselves
C) man will be healthy
D) man will know nature better
Ans. B) man will stop hurting nature and both will heal themselves

Q15. What symbol from nature the poet uses to prove that keeping quiet is not total inactivity?
A) Sun
B) Soil
C) earth
D) Nature and earth
Ans. D) Nature and earth

Q16. Identify the tone of Pablo Neruda in the following line: Perhaps the Earth can teach us…. (CBSE SQP 2021-22)
A. Confident and clear about the future events.
B. Dramatic about the prediction he made.
C. Convinced about the sequence of events to follow.
D. Uncertain, yet hopeful about the possibility.
Ans. D) Uncertain, yet hopeful about the possibility.

Q17. Read the statements given below carefully. Choose the option that best describes these statements, with reference to the poem. (CBSE QB, 2021)
Statement 1 – The poem ‘Keeping Quiet’ calls for change as much in the individual as human society at large.
Statement 2 – The poem ‘Keeping Quiet’ implies that individual change will lead to bigger societal change.
Statement 3 – Neruda believes that when people come together as a community, they will be able to bring a transformation in each person.
A) Statement I is True, Statement II is False, and Statement III cannot be inferred.
B) Statement I and II cannot be inferred, Statement III is True.
C) Statement I is True, Statements II and III cannot be inferred.
D) Statement I cannot be inferred, Statement II cannot be inferred, Statement III is False.
Ans. A) Statement I is True, Statement II is False, and Statement III cannot be inferred.

Q18. Which literary device has been used in ‘Cold Sea’?
A) Pun
B) Similie
C) Antithesis
D) Transferred Epithet
Ans. D) Transferred Epithet

Q19. What statement does Neruda make about wars? (CBSE QB, 2021)
A) Wars are of varied kinds – internal, green wars, wars with gas, with fire etc.
B) Wars are wasteful and cause irrecoverable loss and damage to property and life.
C) Wars never yield any winners, and the loss is far greater than what can be measured.
D) Wars are unavoidable in the enduring struggle for human dignity and power.
Ans. C) Wars never yield any winners, and the loss is far greater than what can be measured.

Q20. “Now I’ll count up to twelve and you keep quiet and I will go.” Why does the poet wish to go at the end of the poem? (CBSE QB, 2021)
A) The poet does not believe people will be quiet.
B) The poet has already invested enough time.
C) The poet will move on and seek to inspire others.
D) The poet is marking the end of the poem by leaving.
Ans. C) The poet will move on and seek to inspire others.


Keeping Quiet Short Answer Questions (including questions from Previous years Question Papers)

In this post we are also providing important short answer questions from the poem Keeping Quiet for CBSE Class 12 Boards in the coming session. These questions have been taken from previous years class 12 Board exams and the year is mentioned in the bracket along with the question.


Q1. Which is the exotic moment that the poet refers to in ‘Keeping Quiet’? (Delhi 2014) OR

What does Neruda mean by ‘an exotic moment without rush’ in his poem, ‘Keeping Quiet’?(CBSE Sample Paper 2020)

Ans: Pablo Neruda longs for the exotic moment when humanity will be free of greed, cruelty, and harmful behavior. Unnecessary rush and noise have caused discomfort and issues. The poet wishes that the noise of engines and machines would stop and that peace and tranquility would reign.

Q2. What is the sadness the poet refers to in the poem ‘Keeping Quiet’? (All India 2011, 2014)

Ans: The poet’s sadness in the poem ‘Keeping Quiet’ is the sadness of never understanding oneself and nature. Humans are frequently involved in a frenzy of activities and have no time for introspection, threatening themselves with death or destruction as a result. This darkens their paths with distress and misery.

Q3. How, according to Neruda, can keeping quiet change our attitude to life?(Compartment 2014)

Ans: According to Neruda, when people on Earth consider remaining silent for a period of time, they will experience an exotic moment in which they will be able to forget their differences and a sense of camaraderie will prevail among them. When man goes silent for a while, most of his evil thoughts vanish. Man will realize his utter stupidity and refrain from harmful and destructive activities if he remains silent.

Q4. Why shouldn’t we “speak in any language” and “not move our arms so much”?

Ans: People all over the world communicate in a variety of languages. They engage in pointless debates and squabbles. The majority of these debates result in destructive wars. The poet encourages people to refrain from speaking in any language. They must speak from the bottom of their hearts. So far, men have only moved their arms to harm others. As a result, the poet wishes that they not move their arms as much and allow these arms to rest for a moment. He asks the people to  allow humanity to develop a sense of mutual understanding.

Q5. What does the poet ask the fisherman and the man collecting salt to do? What does he exactly want to convey by this?

Ans: Pablo Neruda is opposed to all forms of violence. He addresses the fishermen and asks them not to harm the whales that live in the polar seas. He also requests that the person gathering salt at the seashore stop working and instead look at his hands, which are hurt and wounded as a result of overwork.

Q6. What alternative does Pablo Neruda suggest instead of indulging in wars?

Ans: Pablo Neruda suggests that instead of fighting, the people must take to the streets in their finest gowns with their then-brothers. They should go for a walk under the shade of the trees and do nothing. This would foster a sense of community among them.

Q7. How does the poet distinguish ‘stillness’ from ‘total inactivity’? Why does Neruda say “I want no truck with death”?

Ans: Pablo Neruda prefers silence or stillness, in which we sit still and quietly for a while. Total inactivity, on the other hand, is a permanent suspension of work. It is the same as death. The terms ‘stillness’ and ‘total inactivity’ should not be used interchangeably. Life continues as usual. There can be no such thing as total inactivity. Therefore, by saying “I want no truck with death” the poet refuses to associate with or confront death.

Q8. Justify the title ‘Keeping Quiet’.

Ans: The poem’s title is both appropriate and logical. It implies the importance of quiet introspection. People all over the world are hyperactive and constantly on the move. Their actions have caused untold misery and suffering. According to the poet, they will benefit greatly from remaining silent. It will protect them from a variety of harmful and violent activities. Furthermore, it will aid in reflecting on man’s fate and creating a sense of mutual understanding among humans.

Q9. What are the different kinds of war mentioned in the poem that the poet is against? (All India 2013)

Ans: The poet is opposed to all wars. He wishes for an end to the war. As stated in the poem, the poet is opposed to wars started by people, such as green wars (which destroy the environment by cutting down trees), wars with gasses (which pollute the environment with the industries and factories), wars with fire (which destroy and kill others with weapons), and wars with no survivors (i.e., the powerful people who defeat others by killing them)

Q10. Why does the poet feel that we should not be so single-minded?

Ans: People are usually single-minded and obstinate. They choose to concentrate on just one thing. They want to continue living their lives and  are constantly on the move in their pursuit. The poet wishes that they were not so preoccupied with constantly being on the move. They need some respite or rest. They, too, require peace or silence.

Q11.Give two reasons why, according to Pablo Neruda, is ‘keeping quiet’ is essential to attaining a better, more peaceful world. (CBSE Sample Paper 2022)

Ans.There are two reasons why, according to Pablo Neruda, “keeping quiet” is necessary for achieving a better, more peaceful world:

  1. Quietness causes us to pause and reflect on our actions.
  2. It enables us to recognise that many of our mindless actions are causing us harm rather than bringing us happiness.


Class 12 Poem 3 Keeping Quiet Long Answer Questions

Q1. In a world that is constantly running after ‘more’ chasing the next new thing, would it be fair to think of Neruda’s call as merely a fanciful idea? (CBSE QB, 2021)
Ans: Yes, Neruda’s call is good, but it is more fanciful in character. However, if we are able to remain silent, it will have two effects on life in and around the sea. 

  1. The fisherman will avoid killing whales, or any other animal for our own benefit for a while by remaining silent. 
  2. Additionally, salt gatherers will have time to heal their injured hands, tend to them and not overwork and simply rest for a while.  
  3. Moreover, man will not harm nature during this period of silence, and both humans and nature will have time to attend to and heal their wounds. 

As a result, everyone will have more time to reflect on themselves, nature or the past and the decisions taken by them. 

Q2. The world has become a global village, and people across boundaries, nationalities and communities are now connected to one another. With the advancement of technology, and the advent of social media, do you think that the task of keeping quiet, as envisaged by Neruda, has become easier or more complicated? Justify your stance. (CBSE QB, 2021)
Ans: World has become a global village due to transport and communication. People from all over the world are linked together by means of transportation and communication. People use communication technology to stay mentally connected to each other even when they are not physically connected. They use various modes of transportation such as buses, cars, airplanes, and ships to travel from one location to another for business or to visit loved ones. In today’s world, social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and others have grown into massive platforms that connect people all over the world.
Due to this advancement in technology and the advent of social media, the task of keeping quiet both may and may not be achievable depending on the way people perceive it. People understanding the need of introspection and reflecting on their actions, thoughts, etc. can through the use of social media support and promote the idea of “keeping quiet”. However, on the contrary, social media, technology and the world itself,  for some people can prevent them from “keeping quiet” thus making it a fanciful idea and more complicated to achieve in nature. Therefore, people’s perception towards the idea and understanding of introspection and “keeping quiet” would be an important  factor in determining if the task would be complicated or easy to achieve. 

Q3. Analyze the importance of the dramatic count to twelve in ‘Keeping Quiet.’

Ans: The poem begins with the poet’s request that a count to twelve be followed by a moment of silence. The poet associates silence with the desire for a moment of togetherness. The poet’s request to count to twelve is repeated in the first and last stanzas, creating a personal space of silence in the poem. The poet seeks this moment of silence to reflect and meditate, to share a sense of camaraderie and oneness.

The poet wishes that the fishermen would not kill the whales at this precise moment, and that the men gathering salt would rest their injured hands. The threat of global annihilation would be eliminated. The poet wishes that at this moment we would have time for self assessment and introspection. The number ‘twelve’ is dramatically significant in representing our clock time, a real-life moment.  

Q4. How is the poet’s appeal for keeping quiet different from absolute sluggishness ?

Answer: In his plea for silence, the poet emphasizes the importance of self-introspection in a man’s life. As we face the sadness of death, he encourages us to seek a moment to understand ourselves and analyze our actions. The poet’s request for a moment of silence or stillness should not be misinterpreted as a request for inactivity or complete sluggishness.

He seeks a moment of silence in which people are not preoccupied with work and can reflect on their actions. This moment of silence will aid them in overcoming their difficulties and flaws. The poet even believes that the Earth will enlighten men in this process, because silence is only a moment captured where there is activity under apparent stillness.

Q5. Analyze the poetic devices that the poet adopts in the poem.

Ans: The poet has used repetition in the lines ‘let’s not speak’ and ‘let’s stop for one second’ to create a poetic effect of emphasis on his readers. Even the phrases ‘count to twelve’ and ‘count up to twelve’ are symbolic, as the poet requests silence a second time. The word ‘twelve’ represents a unit of time that represents our clock time in real life, capturing a moment from our current time. The phrases ‘hurt hands’ and ‘clean clothes’ are examples of alliteration. The word ‘brothers’ in the poem implies brotherhood, and synecdoche is used by using a concrete object rather than an abstract concept. The poet also uses metaphor in ‘put on clean clothes,’ as he wants the warmongers to shed their blood-soiled clothes (i.e., stop fighting) and put on new clothes (meaning, follow brotherhood).

Q6. Elucidate and bring out what Pablo Neruda wants to convey through the following :

(i) Life is what it is about.

(ii) As when everything seems dead and later proves to be alive.

Ans: (i) Through “ Life is what it is about”, the poet encourages everyone to observe silence and stand still for a while. He wishes to use this time for quiet introspection and to foster greater human understanding. He does not imply death’s stillness and silence. After all, life must go on and that normal and necessary activities cannot be put on hold.

(ii) Through “As when everything seems dead and later proves to be alive”, the poet tries explaining to people that seasons change on a regular basis in nature. When it snows in the winter, the earth appears to be dead, with no greenery, no flowering, and no movement of birds and beasts. However, this situation is deceptive. After about a month, the earth demonstrates that it is better prepared for new life. The poet thus, has related this to the change in nature over the course of the year or our lives. 

Q7. Bring out the underlying message and appeal of Pablo Neruda’s poem ‘Keeping Quiet’. Why does he call upon all the people to keep quiet ?

Ans:  Keeping Quiet is a poem with a historical significance. The poet calls on all people around the world to observe a brief moment of silence, to suspend all activities, to stand still, and to quietly reflect on what they are doing to kill themselves. The poet discusses the need to halt all war-related activities and attack animals for our personal gains. The poet believes that it will be an odd experience for the people to be free of tension and mad rush.” They will have time to get to know their neighbors and their families’ needs. However, the poet is not advocating for total inactivity. After all, life must go on in a quiet manner. Even when everything in nature appears to be dead, the seeds of life remain alive in the earth.

Q8. Explain the theme of the poem “Keeping Quiet” by Pablo Neruda.

Ans: Silence and stillness is the central theme of the poem “Keeping Quiet” by Pablo Neruda. Adopting silence and stillness in our lives, even if only for a short time, is essential, according to the poet, because it allows us to reflect on ourselves and the world. This will put us on a meaningful path in life, first on an individual level and then on a societal level. When we begin working towards self-actualization, our focus shifts from the outside to the inside. As a result, individuals and nations will live in peace and harmony. However, for this to happen, the poet’s recommended silence and stillness must not be mistaken for complete inactivity. The poem also has a secondary theme, i.e., Introspection. We can only achieve the perfect Utopian world described in the poem through introspection and reflection.

Q9. It could be said that the poem ‘Keeping Quiet’ presents the poet’s philosophy for a different kind of world. If you were asked to highlight elements of Neruda’s vision that resonate in your specific social, political and cultural context, which three main ideas would you engage with? Use relevant textual details to support your analysis. (CBSE QB, 2021)

Ans: Pablo Neruda imagines a beautiful world in which silence and stillness become a regular part of one’s life, understanding of oneself reduces environmental conflict and war.  

Neruda’s vision can be adopted into a social, political and cultural context in the following ways:-

  1. The first is that Neruda’s suggestion of remaining silent can be applied in a social context. Under any circumstances, all professionals would be taught to be still, silent, and calm. 
  2. Second, Neruda’s suggestion of stillness can be suggested to political parties who can incorporate them into their political doctrine.  
  3. Third, on a cultural level, stillness and silence can be adopted through a grassroots movement beginning with public Stillness Clubs (where people go to stay still and be silent), which can then be replicated in businesses and neighborhoods.
  4.  Ideally, stillness and silence should be taught at home and from childhood itself and from there, it should spread all over the world. 

Q10. The last two years of school tend to be about planning for life after school. This can be motivating, overwhelming or encouraging for some, and stressful for others. 

Write a diary entry recording your thoughts on the following: 

  • Neruda’s ideas in ‘Keeping Quiet’ as a guide in this situation. 
  • Thinking differently about your decisions with reference to Neruda’s ‘Keeping Quiet’.(CBSE QB, 2021)


23rd of July, 20XX
Dear Diary,

There are numerous things I want to do and accomplish in my life after finishing school. I have many goals, the two most significant are to be content and successful.

I want to be happy because if I am not happy in life, no amount of money or fame will matter. For me, success is simply doing something I’ve always wanted to do. That in and of itself is quite an accomplishment. First and foremost, I intend to attend college and law school. I’m not sure what will happen after this or even if this will happen because I can’t really plan out my life. There are numerous obstacles that could prevent me from achieving my objectives.

Obtaining admission to a good college and law school are two of the challenges. Becoming a lawyer necessitates extensive study, hard work, and determination. But, life frequently takes unexpected turns. What I intend to do now may not be what I intend to do in a few years. I intend to achieve my goals. Keeping quiet will always help me to regain my composure, give me the strength to reflect, and make the best decisions for myself and society.

(Your Signature)

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