Flamingo (Keeping quiet)
Summary of the poem
Summary of the poem:
In this poem, the poet has
emphasized the need to introspect and bring in the spirit of brotherhood among
the people of the world. He wants people to stop talking and stop all movements
symbolizing agitation and restlessness till he counts twelve, that is, a short
period of time. These moments of silence would be strange and exotic because in
our mundane life we are working towards selfish goals, regardless of the other’
requirements and emotions. Hence, this sudden silence would give us an
opportunity to introspect. Since we would not speak for a while, barriers
between communities would break and a sense of brotherhood would prevail. Man
would get an opportunity to realize how he is destroying nature and how he is
harming himself. Futile wars against men and nature would be arrested and a new
feeling of unity would be experienced. The poet does not want his desire for
inactivity to be misunderstood as a state of uselessness. He wants men to learn
a lesson from the Earth. The Earth appears to be inactive yet it is selflessly
productive. Men too could be productive and progressive without any aggression,
selfishness and the urge for destruction.
1Q.why does the poet advocate
Ans -The poet advocates silence so
that we can get time for introspection. There is a mad rush in the world today.
Confusion, tension and stress prevail everywhere. Relaxation is lacking in the
world. The poet says us to keep quiet and introspect ourselves so that we can
be freed from worldly maladies.
is significant about “twelve” in the poem?
twenty-four hours in a day in all, with twelve
There are 12 days of Christmas.
Most calendar systems have twelve
months in a year.
At twelve, the hands of a clock
are one. It is Oneness that the poem calls for.
Count the letters in the title
“Keeping Quiet”, there are twelve.
The poet may have used 'twelve' to
signify time. Counting twelve means one second.
3Q. what does the poet advocate to
do to create feeling’s of mutual understanding and unity among human beings ?
Ans. Here the poet is encouraging a
unified movement among people, with no discrimination based on race or
language. This would be a mass movement for the first time on the face of the
earth, and would greatly enhance unity. Let us stop for a moment and not move
our hands so much in violence i.e. Let us not fight and argue so much.
those who prepare green wars’ here? What would they do when they introspect for
a few moments?
Ans. Those who prepare green wars’ are
the people engaged in researching new methods
Of warfare like biological weapons
eg, nerve gas. They aim at getting victory even if
the entire humanity is wiped out. When they keep quiet they would realize a
newness of life. They would put on new clothes and crave for meeting and
harmonizing with their fellow brothers.
5Q. what does the poet actually
mean by keeping quiet when he says that it should not be confused with total inactivity?
Ans. The poet cautions the reader that
keeping quiet does not mean total inactivity or resignation to or negation of
life. Actually he means that life as it happens should be lived with full
involvement, both physically and spiritually. This is clear in his saying ‘ I want no truck with death’.
6Q.what importance does the poet
give to The Earth, when he says that it can teach us an essential meaning of
Ans. The poet says that when everything
seems dead on the surface of the earth, there pulsates and throbs life
underneath. It means that the earth should be seen and realized in the right
perspective. Keeping still for some time opens up its
mysteries when we introspect ourselves vis-à-vis of the earth.
Q6.What suggestions does the poet
give the man to avoid war?
Ans. The moment of inactivity will
bring a halt to man’s destructive activities. When man will realise
the value of universal brotherhood and fellow feelings, he will avoid wars.
Q7.How has man threatened himself
Ans. The increasing arms race and man’s
rapid advancement towards progress at the cost of nature has brought him on the
verge of extinction.
Q 8. How will it later ‘prove to be
Ans. Life is an eternal and ongoing
process. Man is
caught in the cycle of birth and death. New life is believed to rise from the dead remains.
Q 9 . On
what note does the poet conclude the poem?
Ans. The poet concludes the poem in a
serene and pious note leaving the listeners in an ecstatic and exotic moment of
peace. He asks everyone to be quiet and enjoy the bliss of silence and start
the exercise of introspection.
10. What is the theme of the poem?
Ans. Silence creates an exotic moment,
where one forgets ones differences,war
comes to a stand still and feeling of brotherhood prevails.
Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers
1. Describe Aunt Jennifer’s tigers. How are they different from her?
Ans. Aunt Jennifer’s embroidered
tigers prance across a green screen. They are fearless. They are not afraid of
the man beneath the tree. They move elegantly with brave style and confidence
which is opposite to Aunt Jennifer’s character who is meek and finds difficult
to pull the ivory needle from the wool and on whom the responsibility of
married life weighs heavily.
2. Explain ‘massive weight of Uncle’s wedding band’.
Ans. Aunt Jennifer is tied down by the
constraints of married life. The wedding band symbolizes the ordeals of married
3. Why do you think Aunt made the tigers that were proud and unafraid?
Ans. Aunt Jennifer wanted to be chivalric
like the tigers; but was stifled by the institution of marriage. To give an
expression of freedom to her subdued self she embroidered the prancing tigers
that were proud and unafraid.