English CBSE Class 12 NCERT Flamingo Poem 3 Keeping Quiet Line by Line Explanation and Meaning of Difficult Words
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.
|Still||Without movement, Calm|
|we will count||Alliteration|
|we will all keep||Alliteration|
The poets tells us to count up to twelve and to remain calm and silent while we count twelve.
There are twelve months in a year. There are twelve zodiac signs. A watch indicates twelve hours in a day. So the poet is telling person of every zodiac sign to remain calm throughout the day and throughout the year. Thus the request is to everybody to always remain calm.
For once on the face of the Earth
let’s not speak in any language,
|For once||One single time, As an exception|
The poet says that only for one time and as an exception, let us not speak any language on this earth.
The language creates differences. It does so through many ways. If we speak in different types of language we are not able to understand each other. Second, if we speak in bad language, ill feeling is created. So the poet suggests that let us not speak any language for once. Thus barriers created by language shall be overcome. Everybody will be a friend to each other.
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.
|not move our arms much||Alliteration|
Let us stop for some time. Let us not move our arms / hands to damage others and the earth.
The destruction in the world is caused showing our strength over somebody or something. We destroy environment. We hurt our fellow beings. When we do not move our arms we start protecting environment and brotherhood is spread.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines,
|without rush without engines||Repetition|
This will be an unusual and strange moment. Because we are not used to it. There will not be any hurry to do anything. The world will be without the noise of factory and vehicles.
Poet says that we will be far away from the everyday running. We would have some time to think about ourselves. There will be lesser noise in the world. The pollution will be less and environment would become better.
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
|we would all be||Alliteration|
We all will be living together. Nobody will be killing or harming another. This would be an unusual sudden change in the world.
The belongingness to one another would be very strange to us. Because we have never felt attached to each other. Everyone would care for another one. Every human being will care another human being. They will also care about other living beings. This would be a welcome change for all of us.
Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
|Cold sea||Sea whose water is cold|
|Whale||Type of a big fish|
|would not harm whales||Alliteration|
Fisherman would not unnecessarily kill whales in sea.
Poet wants to say that nobody would kill any other living beings for pleasure or for material gains. There will be sense of satisfaction among population.
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.
|man gathering salt||Symbol|
|his hurt hands||Symbol|
|would look at his hurt hands||Alliteration|
The man preparing the salt will become aware of wounds of his hands.
The poet wants to say that destruction of environment is harmful to us. Presently we do not care about it. But now we shall understand that damage to environment is a damage to human beings also. The phrases ‘man gathering salt’ and ‘hurt hands’ have been symbolically used.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victory with no survivors,
|wars with gas, wars with fire||Repetition|
|wars with gas,||Symbol|
|wars with fire||Symbol|
Some persons destroy the greenery of earth. Some activities pollute the atmosphere with hazardous gases. Some activities result into global warming. Now such activities will stop. Those people or countries who fight with each other will not do so. They will understand that by doing such activities survival of human kind is not possible.
“Green wars’ is used to indicate greenery of earth.
‘Wars with gas’ is used to indicated emission of polluting gases.
‘Wars with fire’ is used to indicate global warming.
‘Victory’ is used to indicate wars among countries or people.
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
|would put on clean clothes||Alliteration|
|walk about with their brothers||Alliteration|
|In the shade||Symbol|
All people would stop doing activities that pollute environment and harm human beings. They will live like brothers. They will remain calm and do nothing.
‘Clean cloths’ represents clean environment.
‘In the shade’ means remaining calm
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.
|what I want||Alliteration|
|Life is what it is about||Repetition|
|I want no truck with death||Alliteration|
The wishes of poet does not mean that we should stop doing everything. We should not become idle. But we should take from Mother Nature only to the extent we need. We should not exploit nature. Poet does not want people to die in wars.
The poet wants to say that because of our ambitions and selfish nature we have been destroying environment. We are taking from earth more than we need. We should protect the Mother Nature to the extent we can.
When there is war soldiers and civilians die. Poet wants to say that war causes death and destruction. We must avoid wars.
‘truck with death’ represents dead bodies of soldiers and civilians.
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
|If we were not so single minded||Alliteration|
If we stop thinking only about ourselves and our comfort, we can stop causing these damages.
Poet wants to say that all the destruction is caused because of our selfish interests. We are always thinking about our selfish interest. If we stop being selfish, many problems of this day can be solved.
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Probably a long break from the present way of living can remove our sadness. Presently we are not able to understand ourselves. Our present ways are a threat to human beings.
The poet wants us to move away from our present style of living. Our fast paced life and our selfish attitude for comfort has made our life sad. We need to change our ways. That will take us from sadness to happiness. In our mad rush, we have failed to understand ourselves. It is threatening our own survival
Perhaps the Earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.
|earth can teach us||personification|
Probably earth can teach how to make this change. Even in the pieces of land where all the trees and crops have been cut, new trees and crops can be grown. Thus the earth again becomes green.
Poet wants to say that it is possible to change our ways. He quotes the example of earth. New saplings can be planted on a barren piece of land. And soon the piece of land becomes green. Same way we can also adopt new methods.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
Now poet says that he will count up to twelve. We should remain calm. And he shall go.
Poets thinks that we all have understood his message. So there is no need for him to repeat his thoughts.