Keeping Quiet Question Answer | Class XII


Discover ‘Keeping Quiet Question Answer, Class XII,’ a comprehensive guide featuring all textual and essential additional questions, crafted in clear and simple language to aid students’ understanding and preparation.

Keeping Quiet Question Answer

Keeping Quiet Question Answer

(HS 2nd Yr English)

-Pablo Neruda

Keeping Quiet Question Solutions

Keeping Quiet Question Answer

Textual Question Solutions

(Think it out).  Each bearing 2 Marks

Q.1. What will counting up to twelve and keeping still help us achieve?

Ans: The poet Pablo Neruda wishes that the act of counting up to twelve and keeping still would help us achieve newer strength and mental energy to begin our activities anew. Moreover, it would help us think about how to make the earth safe from violence and destruction.

Q.2. Do You think the poet advocates total inactivity and death?

Ans: No, the poet does not advocate total inactivity and death. In contrast, the poet suggests only stopping our daily rush and busy activities for a few seconds so that we can make our minds fresh and energetic to lead a better life without any kind of violence.

Q.3. What is the ‘sadness’ that the poet refers to in the poem?

Ans: The ‘sadness’ that the poet refers to in the poem is due to our failure to know ourselves. In our daily lives, we are so busy that turns us blind to our inner activities. So to know ourselves we must introspect in complete silence.

Q.4. What symbol from Nature does the poet invoke to say there can be life under apparent stillness?

Ans: The poet invokes the image of the earth as a symbol to suggest that we have to make ourselves refreshed and energetic to lead a better life and it is through keeping ourselves quiet for a few seconds. The poet wishes to convey to us that in winter all the trees seem to be barren, but as soon as spring comes the trees begin a new life with new vigour.

Keeping Quiet Question Answer

Additional Question Solutions

Short Answer-type Questions:

1. What is an ‘exotic moment’ in ‘Keeping Quiet’?

Ans: The moment during which we keep quiet and stop our activities is said to be an ‘exotic moment’.

2. How long does the poet want to stay still?

Ans: The poet wants to stay still till he counts one to twelve.

3. ‘Let not speak in any language’, Says Neruda. Why?

Ans: The poet Neruda says, ‘Let not speak in any language’ to stay still for a moment so that during the time of silence we can feel human qualities in us and thus can make the earth a better place.

4. What should the warmongers do?

Ans: The warmongers should  ‘put on clean clothes’ which means they should give up violence and hatred toward others and thus they should spread universal brotherhood without doing any harm to anybody.

5. What kind of victory do they achieve?

Ans: They achieve a victory where no survivors are left to celebrate it.

6. What is ‘ a green war’?

Ans:  A green war refers to the war against our environment.

Reading  Extracts and Answering:

Q.1. Read the following extracts and answer the questions that follow:

(a) ‘Now we will count to twelve

and we will all keep still

For once on the face of the Earth

let’s not speak us in any language,

let us 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.’


(i) Who is the poet of the quoted lines? 1

(ii) What does the poet mean by ‘not speak in any language’ and ‘move our arms so much’? 2

(iii) What would be the ‘exotic moment’? 1

Ans: (i) The poet of the quoted lines is Pablo Neruda.

(ii) By the phrase ‘not speak in any language’ the poet wants to mean complete silence and ‘by not move our arms so much’ the poet wants to mean that we should stop our activities while keeping quiet.

(iii) The moment during which we keep quiet and stop our activities would be our ‘exotic moment’.

(b)  ”Now …………………. our arms so much.”


(i) How long does the poet want to stay still? 1

Ans:  The poet wants to stay still till he counts from one to twelve.

(ii) Why does he ask us to keep still and not use any language?2

Ans: The poet asks us to keep still and, ‘not speak in any language’ for a moment so that during the time of silence we can feel human qualities in us and thus can make the earth a better place.

(iii) What does the poet mean by ‘not move our arms so much’? 1

Ans: By ‘not move our arms so much’ the poet wants to mean that we should stop our activities while keeping quiet so that we can feel ourselves and can develop human brotherhood.

(c) ‘What I want should not be confused

with total inactivity.

Life is what it is about,

I want no truck with death.’


(i) What does the poet want? 1

(ii) What does he want not to be confused with? 2

(iii) What does he think about life? 1

(iv) What, according to him, does inactivity amount to? 1

Ans: (i) The poet wants us to find a moment for introspection.

(ii) He does not want us to be confused with total inactivity.

(iii) The poet thinks of life as connected with activity.

(iv) According to the poet, inactivity amounts to death. 0 0 0.

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Keeping Quiet Question Answer

Keeping Quiet: Summary

“Keeping Quiet” by Pablo Neruda is a thought-provoking poem that advocates for peace, introspection, and unity. The poem calls for a moment of silence and stillness to reflect on our lives and actions, promoting a collective pause to foster a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

The poem begins with the speaker urging everyone to count to twelve and remain quiet. This counting to twelve is symbolic, possibly representing the twelve hours of a clock or the twelve months of a year, signifying a full cycle of time. The speaker suggests that during this moment of silence, we should refrain from speaking and moving, embracing a stillness that transcends our usual busyness and chaos.

In this state of quietude, the speaker imagines a world where all activities cease—no engines running, no wars being fought, no fishing in the seas. This cessation of activity is not about death but about a temporary pause to reflect and understand the impact of our actions on ourselves, others, and the environment. The poem emphasizes that this silence would allow us to connect with our inner selves and recognize our shared humanity.

Neruda then addresses the potential concerns that silence might bring, acknowledging that some might fear it as a form of inaction or death. However, he reassures that this is not about total inactivity but about a meaningful pause to reconsider our actions. The poem suggests that in our everyday lives, we are so preoccupied with achieving, moving, and speaking that we often lose sight of the essential aspects of life.

The speaker reflects on the destructive nature of human actions, such as wars and environmental degradation, and how these actions stem from a lack of understanding and introspection. By keeping quiet, we can break free from the cycle of destruction and foster a sense of peace and unity. This pause allows us to appreciate the beauty of existence and the interconnectedness of all life.

Neruda also touches on the theme of individualism versus collective experience. He proposes that by keeping quiet together, we can create a sense of solidarity and shared purpose. This collective silence is a way to heal and regenerate, both individually and globally. The poem suggests that through introspection and unity, we can address the root causes of conflict and suffering.

The poem concludes with the speaker emphasizing the temporary nature of this silence. He clarifies that he does not wish for us to be idle or inactive forever but to use this moment of stillness to reflect and rejuvenate. The speaker himself promises to keep quiet, demonstrating his commitment to the idea and leading by example.

In summary, “Keeping Quiet” by Pablo Neruda is a powerful call for introspection, peace, and unity. Through a moment of collective silence, the poem encourages us to reflect on our actions, appreciate our shared humanity, and foster a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world. By embracing this pause, we can break free from destructive patterns and create a more peaceful and harmonious existence. 0 0 0.

Keeping Quiet Question Answer

About the Poet: Pablo Neruda

Early Life and Education

Pablo Neruda, born Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto on July 12, 1904, in Parral, Chile, was a prolific poet, diplomat, and politician. His father, José del Carmen Reyes Morales, was a railway employee, and his mother, Rosa Basoalto, a schoolteacher, died shortly after his birth. Raised in Temuco, Chile, by his father and stepmother, Neruda showed an early interest in writing. At the age of 13, he published his first work, an article, in a local newspaper.

Pen Name and Early Literary Career

To avoid conflict with his father, who disapproved of his literary pursuits, Neruda adopted the pen name Pablo Neruda, inspired by the Czech poet Jan Neruda. In 1924, he gained international fame with the publication of “Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair,” a collection known for its passionate and sensuous themes.

Diplomatic Career

In 1927, Neruda began his diplomatic career, serving as Chile’s consul in various countries, including Burma (now Myanmar), Argentina, Spain, and Mexico. His experiences abroad significantly influenced his writing and political views. During the Spanish Civil War, Neruda became an ardent supporter of the Republican cause, a stance that deepened his commitment to communism.

Political Involvement

Neruda joined the Communist Party of Chile in the 1940s and was elected as a senator in 1945. His outspoken criticism of President Gabriel González Videla’s government led to his exile in 1948. During this period, he traveled extensively in Europe and continued to write, producing some of his most celebrated works.

Major Works and Achievements

Neruda’s poetry covers a wide range of themes, from love and nature to politics and social justice. Notable works include “Canto General” (1950), an epic poem that reflects his political beliefs and his vision of Latin American history, and “Residence on Earth” (1933-1947), which explores existential and surreal themes. In 1971, Neruda was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his contributions to poetry.

Later Life and Legacy

In 1973, after a period as Chile’s ambassador to France, Neruda returned to Chile. He died on September 23, 1973, shortly after the military coup that overthrew President Salvador Allende. Neruda’s death remains shrouded in controversy, with allegations of possible foul play.

Pablo Neruda’s legacy endures through his extensive body of work, which continues to inspire and influence poets and readers worldwide. His passionate, vivid, and often politically charged poetry has cemented his place as one of the most important literary figures of the 20th century. 0 0 0.

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