John Keating: [talking to his students while looking at photos of school alumni] 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’re 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? Because, 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 – – hear it? – – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary. (Source: IMDB)
I first saw Dead Poets Society in late 1989 in a Fort Collins, Colorado movie theater when I was 21, a senior at Colorado State University, and contemplating going to China to teach English. After watching I was inspired to “seize the day,” take life by the reigns, and go. (And I did. From 1990 to 1991, I taught English at a university in a southeast province of the PRC.)
DPS is one of my most favorite films. Over and over I have watched this movie for inspiration, and each time I am encouraged to write the verse of my life in the actions I take each day.
I’m more than twice the age as when I first saw the film, but I am not yet fertilizing daffodils and I have not heard any fat ladies singing, so I take it that I still have more to write in my life (literally and figuratively). Continue reading