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Keeping Quiet

Pablo Neruda, Poet, Chile

Keeping Quiet

And now we will count to twelve
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.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines,

we would all be together

in a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman 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,

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.

Life is what it is about, 

I want no truck with death.

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 

and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve,
and you keep quiet and I will go.

2 Responses to Keeping Quiet

  1. Adriana Paoletta December 7, 2009 at 9:49 pm #

    Hola Claudia!!! que bello poema de Neruda!!!!<br />Gracias por tus comentarios los aprecio mucho. Mil disculpas por la demora de la respuesta a ellos pero estuve super ocupada con los cierres de cursos. Qué hermoso conocerte!<br />Un abrazo de luz<br />adriana

  2. Claudia December 8, 2009 at 10:33 am #

    Gracias Adriana, me encantan lo abrazos de luz, son mis favoritos 🙂 y no te preocupes, entiendo que debes estar super ocupada cerrando los cursos.