Thursday, 14 July 2016

Reference to Context Questions on Keeping Quiet

Read the following extracts and then answer the questions that follow:

Stanza 2

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.

1. Whom is the poet addressing in the above stanza?
2. What does the poet not want the reader to do? Why do you think so?
3. Identify the pun in the fourth line and provide the two different meanings for the same.


Stanza 3

It would be an exotic moment
without  rush, without engines,
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

1. What does, 'it' refer to, and why would it be 'exotic?'
2. Identify the figures of speech in lines three and four. How are they similar?
3. Who is 'we' in the third line?
4. Explain, 'sudden strangeness' with reference to context.

Stanza 4

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.

1. How will keeping quiet affect fishermen?
2. What are the different connotations of the word, 'cold' in the first line?
3. How will keeping quiet affect the whales in the cold sea?
4. Whom will keeping quiet affect with reference to the third line? How?
5. Identify the figure of speech used in the last line of the extract.

Stanza 5

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victory with no survivors,
would put one clean clothes
and walk about with their
brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

1. Whom does the word, 'those' refer to in the first line? Prepare a list of possible options.
2. What do the words, 'green wars, wars with gas, and wars with fire' denote?
3. Identify the figure of speech used in the third line and explain its use.
4. Explain the possible connotations of the expression, 'clean clothes'. Justify your answer.
5. Whom does the word, 'brothers' refer to?
6. How has keeping quiet affected, 'those' and the soldiers on the battlefield?

Stanza 6

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 intetrrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with
death.

1. Who is 'I' in the first line? What is it that he does not want to be, 'confused'?
2. Explain, what the poet means by the words,'we're...so single-minded about keeping our lives
    moving'.
3. Explain, 'could do nothing'.
4. What does, 'sadness' refer to in the tenth line, what can 'interrupt' it?
5. What, according to the poet are we, 'threatening ourselves with'? How and why?


Stanza 7

Perhaps the Earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

1. List a few lessons that you have learned from the Earth or Nature.
2. Draw a few symbols from everyday life that embody the poet's message.


Stanza 1 and stanza 8

1. Now we will count to twelve
    and we will all keep still.
8.Now I'll count up to twelve
   and you keep quiet and I will go.

1. What is similar between the opening stanza and the closing stanza of the poem?
2. What is dissimilar between both stanzas, and explain why there is a difference? What do you think
    was the poet's intention in making the stanzas different?
3. What does the word, 'twelve' symbolise? Give as many alternatives as possible and support your
    choices with a suitable explanations.


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