Mar 30, 2022Liked by moviewise ๐ŸŽŸ

This is ironic. I have been working on a post about Carpe Diem - but with a bit of a different meaning. Carpe has come to mean 'seize', as in Seize the Day, but researching the Latin, I found it means 'to gather together'. I was struck by the difference between the word 'seize' and 'gather'. Seize feels so aggressive, while gather seems gentle. I have taken this to mean that you can gather together the things that are important for your day and enjoy them.... living in the present moment in a joyful way rather than striving for something. With this feeling in mind, I have taken to think of Carpe Diem as meaning to be free to enjoy what you have in front of you.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

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Mar 30, 2022ยทedited Mar 30, 2022Author

Yes, in the movie the definition of "Carpe Diem" is given immediately after Mr. Keating recites a few lines from the poem by Robert Herrick that uses the word "gather":

"To the virgins, to make much of time. Gather ye rose-buds while ye may. Old Time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles today, tomorrow will be dying."

The Wiki page translates "Carpe Diem" as both "enjoy the moment" and "seize the day":

"Carpe is the second-person singular present active imperative of carpล "pick or pluck" used by Horace to mean "enjoy, seize, use, make use of".[2] Diem is the accusative of dies "day". A more literal translation of carpe diem would thus be "pluck the day [as it is ripe]"โ€”that is, enjoy the moment. It has been argued by various authors that this interpretation is closer to Horace's original meaning.[3]"

"In Horace, the phrase is part of the longer "carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero", which is often translated as "Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow (the future)"."

I agree with you that the word "seize" has a more aggressive energy than "gather." But I think that "seize the day" incorporates the idea that you have of "gather together the things that are important for your day and enjoy them," and it additionally is a call to action to be moved โ€” stirred โ€” by them and not just passively receive or enjoy the present moment. If artistic, make art, create music, create poetry, capture this enjoyment in a story; if not artistic then find another way, build a company, build a community, teach. This is how we, the human race, are able to both leave a mark and receive in various forms the beauty of the world.

Mr. Keating's speech to the students immediately after defining "Carpe Diem" as "Seize the day" includes the line,

"Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable?"

I interpret this line and the question that the movie as whole poses as, "what is your barbaric YAWP"? What filled you with passion and made you act? Or in more poetic terms, What will your verse be?

"What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are hereโ€”that life exists and identity. That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.โ€

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?"


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Mar 30, 2022Liked by moviewise ๐ŸŽŸ

Thank you for giving me a new way to think about this. I remember loving this movie and now it comes back full circle.

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Fantastic review! This is such an inspiring movie (until the tragic ending that is ๐Ÿ˜ข) I watched it for the first time in my 9th grade English class and I remember crying when Neil died. Iโ€™m still not over it to this day. I understand the message and why it was done, but I wish Neil would have made a different choice and chose to live rebelliously instead of giving up.

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Thank you so much Daisy Anne! Yes, this is a beautiful film, so well done and moving, but it's a tragedy and it's painful to watch the scenes dealing with Neil's death even if you know they're coming, which is really a testament to how well-crafted and well-acted this movie is. The ending is powerful and wonderful. "Dead Poets Society" is simply a masterpiece!

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May 4, 2022Liked by moviewise ๐ŸŽŸ

I still have to see this flick, believe it or not. And as my world as changed these past few months, I still hope to contribute. However, the point is, "In my class you will learn to think for yourselves again. You will learn to savor words and language. No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world." Which rhymes with this organizational development fellow I follow, ripe with incredible insight, when he asks, "Who is rewarded? The student with the right answer, or the student who challenges assumptions?" Something I'm still working on. More fun qutoes include, "Companies arenโ€™t going to trust you because you asked them to. Theyโ€™ll do it when they believe that you are one of the few people who can lean outside of the comfort zone and bring back something extraordinary." And "Creativity is the generous act of solving an interesting problem on behalf of someone else. Itโ€™s a chance to take emotional and intellectual risks with generosity." All of which defy what (at least I) choose to remember from my education.

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I think this is exactly right: "Who is rewarded? The student with the right answer, or the student who challenges assumptions?" It's the sentiment of "The Road Not Taken":

Two roads diverged in a wood, and Iโ€”

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

One learns to see and appreciate more when one challenges assumptions. Often it, by itself, leads to great discoveries. That is all that Copernicus did, after all, and it changed the course of history:


I like all the other quotes you mention as well ๐Ÿค— Thank you!!

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