Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Keeping Quiet



I wanted to reproduce a   poem by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), (translated by Alastair Reid) for you which is called Keeping Quiet....but alas the required permissions to do so are incredibly laborious.   The publishers (not the poet!)  want me to have a copy of the book in hand so that I can fill in a form with about 20 different esoteric bits of information - almost to the point of counting the full stops (periods) in the entire book!!! Plus full details of my entire existence!!!

The poem is so appropriate at this time of year - when we're singing about silent nights but not really thinking (or cogitating!) about the importance of silence.

 The message is so strong - for all of us of course, but for artists in particular.  It is difficult to create beauty in the midst of noise and chaos....we need silence.

It begins:

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.



and here's the link to the full poem...do read it.



 All my very best wishes  for the holiday season (however you celebrate it) to all my blog readers.
And if you have been, thank you so much for reading all year long!  Elizabeth

8 comments:

abelian said...

Thank you for the lovely Midwinter quilt, and for the lovely Pablo Neruda poem. I'm wishing you a happy (and quiet) holiday season, too.

Dot

Vickie said...

I love the poem. Thank you.

Edith said...

What a beautiful poem about both the necessity and the beauty of silence. To keep quiet, to sit in still and contemplative silence, that is the ultimate gesture pointing towards intimations of meaning in the mystery, like the finger pointing towards the moon, like the artist's fingers painting on the moon.

Janis Doucette said...

Both poem and quilt are lovely. Please tell more...did you paint directly on the cloth or is it pieced or appliqued?

Elizabeth Barton said...

the background of the quilt was a whole cloth shibori - black on white, then I appliquéd the blue silk by hand...and the trees by machine. I gave it to a very good friend who has shown me all the amazing wonders of her beautiful state of Washington. A very fair trade!

Deborah C. Stearns said...

Thank you for sharing the quilt and the poem. Your post reminds me of something I wrote on my own blog about stillness in dance and in life. It took a while for me to appreciate the importance of stillness and quiet and space in my life. Thank you for the reminder.

http://deborahstearns.blogspot.com/2010/08/power-of-stillness.html

Sara Nutter said...

Thank you for the gift of quiet this season and for your inspiring posts through out the year.

Paula Kovarik said...

Lovely.
Now I need to find the whole poem. Thank you!