Carpe Diem: Re-Watching Dead Poets Society

This week, I watched Dead Poets Society.  I hadn’t seen it in many years.  I think the last time I watched it was with my ex Phil; he was an actor and Robin Williams was his idol, so this was one of his favorite movies.

Oh, what a brilliant piece; how can I put into words how it inspired me?

First, somebody pulled together the best quotes here:

Why does the author use these words?  Because we are food for worms lads. Cause believe it or not each and everyone of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold, and die.

I’d like for you to step forward over here and peruse some of the faces from the past. You’ve walked past them many times, but I don’t think you’ve really looked at them.

They’re not that different from you are they? Same haircuts, full of hormones just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they are destined for great things, just like many of you. Their eyes are full of hope, just like you.

Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable of? Cause you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils, but if you listen real close you can hear them whisper their legacy to you.

Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it?  Carpe diem.  Seize the day boys.  Make your lives extraordinary.

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute, we read and write poetry because we are members of the human race, and the human race is full of passion.

Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life, but poetry, beauty, romance, love. These are what we stay alive for.

The Dead Poets were dedicated to “sucking the marrow out of life.”

Now we all have a need for acceptance, but you must trust that your beliefs are unique, your own. Even though others may think them odd or unpopular. Even though the herd may go, “That’s baaad!”

Dead Poets Society was based on a teacher, Sam Pickering, who inspired the writer at Montgomery Bell Academy.  The movie, however is fictional (Is DPS based on a true story? from, accessed 3/2/13).

Pritchard was not a real person, nor was the “Pritchard Scale” a real essay.  So don’t pity Pritchard, and don’t grieve too long for Neil.

Sucking the marrow out of life, enjoying great literature, writing out of passion, seizing the day because one day we die–all of it inspired me, renewed me.

In fact, when considering whether or not to post that little letter [ie, blog post] to Richard the other day [now removed], “Carpe diem” kept pushing me to keep it up.