Saturday, August 20, 2011

Poem In Your Post: Carpe Diem

The Latin phrase carpe diem originated in the "Odes," a long series of poems composed by the Roman poet Horace in 65 B.C.E., in which he writes:
Scale back your long hopes

to a short period. While we
speak, time is envious and

is running away from us.
Seize the day, trusting
little in the future.*
The Horace excerpt got me to thinking, searching, as did this past glorious week of light breezes, 70's temps., and plenty of sunshine:

Poetry provides a vehicle for the present moment perhaps better than any other verbal container.  What's your favorite poem that celebrates the here and now, either directly or by serving up imagery that keeps us right smack dab in the moment?  Add it into our comments or pop it in a post and link up here.  Be sure to note this post in your own too so that others can find our hop.


Here's one of my favorites on this theme... And you don't have to believe in a supreme being to sense the speaker's delight in the present moment...

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
                                        - e.e. cummings

* With gratitude, as usual, to for a thoughtful discussion of this topic.


Coreena McBurnie said...

What a great poem. I love that phrase, carpe diem. It always makes me think of Herrick poems, especially, Gather ye rosebuds while ye may...

parrish lantern said...

Carpe Diem

We soared above the clouds
on catgut and glue
Pointed heavens way
to say that pride came
Before my fall
mere hindsight
a statistician view
Yes, I fell
but first I flew.


Laurie said...

PL - I see that both your contributions this weekend (here and at Coreena's) focus on Daedalus & Icarus... The latter, especially, seems the ultimate personification of 'carpe diem'.

Luna said...

This is my take on "Carpe diem". Hope you like it:

The secret of life is:
live in the present.
It is. Well, almost.

If it was just
forget the past,
forget the future,
live in the present...
most petty criminals
would be great saints.
It seldom happens.

Live in the present, yes.
And live beyond the present
at the same time.

Now is the balancing point
between the distant past
and the distant future.
Now lives within eternity.

Live in the present, yes.
Don't lean hard on the past,
don't lean hard on the future,
live in the balancing point,
stretching your arms long
into both ends of eternity.

Live at the cutting edge
between ten minutes past and ten minutes coming,
between ten hours past and ten hours coming,
between ten months past and ten months coming,
between ten years past and ten years coming,
between ten centuries past and ten centuries coming,
all at the same time.

Live in the present, yes.
Live right in the middle of eternity.

I will get a book of poems published in November. My blog is here:

Luna Garcia

Laurie said...

Luna, that's lovely, and it embraces the original spirit of carpe diem, as I understand it. It's not about hedonism or ignoring the future, or against honoring the past. Rather, the idea is to work in the now, dig into it, make it count. All of this your poem urges. Thank you so much for offering up such a clear glimpse into your personal philosophy.

cialis online said...

It's a really short poem but it's so good and concise, I'd like the ability to be brief and leaving something really special in the people's heart.

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