from DEAD POET's SOCIETY
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?"
from "Dead Poets Society"
Walt Whitman, the old master and son of Manhattan,
pictured in approximately 1862.
the above comes from the poem "O Me! O Life!" from
Whitman's Leaves of Grass:
O ME! O life!... of the questions
of these recurring;
Of the endless trains of the faithless--of cities fill'd with the
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?
That you are here--that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.