Day: March 7, 2014

Dead Poets Society

Day 4 ~ Steven Fox Writing’s Alphabet Challenge. The letter “D”. There are a lot of topics that I could blog about. For one thing, dreams have been a huge part of my life. I have vivid and often terrifying dreams. I remember most of them in great detail, even those I had as a child. Dreams are quite a muse for me. Then there’s defendant. I do have to be in court again today. I will have to testify at a preliminary hearing about the home invasion we had last summer. These defendants have reeked havoc on our lives for months now. I’m sure my disdain for the culprits would fuel some pretty passionate, and probably negative, material. However, because I have to be in court today, I don’t have the time to do these topics justice.

Dead Poets Society is the best idea I’ve had anyway. It is, after all, the movie that inspired me to write in the first place. I was 15 years old when I saw this movie. I was also 15 years old when I published my first poem. Clearly this movie had an immediate and intense impact on me. I cannot believe that Dead Poets Society turns 25 this year. 25! Many quotes from this movie are timeless, inspirational and breathtaking. I’m sure you’ve all seen the Apple commercial that recites the first quote below. I choke up a little every time it takes over my TV. So here, enjoy bits of flawless writing taken from a life-changing movie:

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? ~John Keating

There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for. ~John Keating

No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world. ~John Keating

I was the intellectual equivalent of a 98-pound weakling! I would go to the beach and people would kick copies of Byron in my face! ~John Keating

We’re not laying pipe! We’re talking about poetry. How can you describe poetry like American Bandstand? “I like Byron, I give him a 42 but I can’t dance to it!” ~John Keating

I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life. ~Henry David Thoreau

Sucking the marrow out of life doesn’t mean choking on the bone. ~John Keating

I always thought the idea of education was to learn to think for yourself. ~John Keating

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. ~John Keating

This is a battle, a war, and the casualties could be your hearts and souls. ~John Keating



Thank you, O Captain, my Captain, for inspiring me to find my voice.