Keeping Quiet (Summary)
(By: Pablo Neruda)
This poem is all about the importance of staying calm and composed. Here, Pablo Neruda (Poet) wants people to keep quiet for some time so that they can introspect themselves during the time of introspection and realize what is wrong and what is right for them. He begins this poem with a request to people for leaving all the work and for staying out of rush and chaos for some time. He picks up a couple of example to make us understand the significance of the poem. At first, he talks about a fisherman who has forgotten that killing innocent whales and fish can lead to extinction of such species which is one of the four principal biological system. Besides, he picks up an example of a man whose job is to pick up the salt for survival of his family but at the cost of his hands which are rotting away day by day. Poet advises them to take care of others as well as themselves while working.
In next few stanzas, poet talks of the wars created by people themselves to show their supremacy over others. According to him, the man has got so advanced that he can kill his own ones in a matter of seconds. He names couple of wars as well such as; green wars, wars with nuclear gases and weapons which lead to victory but along with the destruction. He urges people to keep calm for some time before doing anything. In this way, a human can realize that all, whom he is fighting with, are his own ones not others.
In next stanza, he sheds light on the attitude of the people which is full of self-centeredness. According to him, human is the only creature of this world who can kill or harm his own people just for the sake of his own profits. As per his words, human has forgotten that he has to die one day or the other yet he remains afraid of it even it being a reality. The poet pleads people to keep quiet if they want peace to prevail on this earth. Besides, he holds human responsible for their misery and pain.
In the last stanza, poet wants us to learn the importance of keeping quiet from the earth which remains quiet peaceful and dead from outside but has a life beneath. He also requests people to pass on this message to others as he has done in this poem. Only, in this way, peace can prevail on our earth.
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