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.
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.