Yesterday, I asked my Creative Writing class what carpe diem meant. I received a variety of definitions, all accurate: "seize the day," "live life to the fullest," "time is short."
Then, I showed a clip from Dead Poets' Society (here's the link). Robin Williams at his best. The profession of teaching at its very best. The love of poetry at its best.
I was surprised how many of my 20-year-old students had seen the movie. They LOVED it and giggled along at all the right places.
Next, I had the students write a poem using carpe diem as the theme. Some of the students read them aloud, and the poems were beautiful. They were aching and raw and regretful and hopeful. Even at 20, students seem to have a sense that time is short. That they don't have as much time as they think they do.
I love to see young people take life seriously, take writing seriously. And to realize that none of us has all the time in the world. A powerful truth that does, hopefully, urge us to seize the day!
"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may..."