Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What Will Your Verse Be?

I'm sometimes (okay, often) not very good at expressing myself. Thankfully, I have other folks I can turn to that can perhaps convey what I was trying to say better than I did today in class. Case in point: Walt Whitman.
O Me! O Life?
By Walt Whitman (from Leaves of Grass, 1892)
Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?  
Answer.  
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
This is what I was trying to get at today in class (albeit very poorly). My hope for you is that you may contribute a verse.

The following is a commercial for a product, and it pulls dialog from a movie, but I still think it's powerful.



From Dead Poets Society (1989) 
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 filled with passion. And 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. To quote from Whitman, 'O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless--of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?' Answer. That you are here--that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be? 
Tom Schulman from "Dead Poets Society"

What will your verse be?

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Dead Poets Society (1989). There's a link in the post (click on 'a movie').

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