Friday, January 2, 2009


KEEPING QUIET
***
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak any language;
let's stop for a 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.
Fishermen in the cold sea would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt would not look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories 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,
Life is what it is all about...
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.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead in winter
and later proves to be alive.
Now I'll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
~Pablo Neruda~

2 comments:

Katia Shtefan said...

The beginning and end of this poem suggest the image of an all-encompassing, global game. But it is not quite hide and seek, for what Neruda emphasizes is the seeking aspect: seeking to understand oneself and others, neither of which is possible without silence. If you really like Neruda, I recommend that you learn about Red Poppy (www.redpoppy.net). It's a nonprofit set up to create a documentary about Neruda, publish his biography, and translate his works into English.

Susette said...

Thank you for sharing your views and the link, Katia. Many blessings of Love and Light~
Susette