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Meditation &Poetry | 11 Jun 2009

Keeping Quiet

As such reproducing  poem by Neruda, considering the kind of reflective mood,  I find myself presently in. It is also an escape for me to choose  a poem and just meditate on what it is saying and its meaning to us. It is like meditating on a koan ( sort of a riddle to occupy the mind while meditating).

The reason we have reached a stage where we need to seek the cause of sadness and void that has filled the major part of our life marring even the happiest moments.

Pablo Neruda bring essence of life to our doorsteps. Sadly, we miss the message as we are too preoccupied with our lives that we forget we are but one part of the whole. It is poet like Neruda who remind us of these responsibilities


Keeping Quiet

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

This one time upon the earth,
let’s not speak any language,
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be a delicious moment,
without hurry, without locomotives,
all of us would be together
in a sudden uneasiness.

The fishermen in the cold sea
would do no harm to the whales
and the peasant gathering salt
would look at his torn hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars of gas, wars of fire,
victories without survivors,
would put on clean clothing
and would walk alongside their brothers
in the shade, without doing a thing.

What I want shouldn’t be confused
with final inactivity:
life alone is what matters,
I want nothing to do with death.

If we weren’t unanimous
about keeping our lives so much in motion,

if we could do nothing for once,
perhaps a great silence would
interrupt this sadness,
this never understanding ourselves
and threatening ourselves with death,
perhaps the earth is teaching us
when everything seems to be dead
and then everything is alive.

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

– Pablo Neruda
Translated by Stephen Mitchell

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