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? * When you read, don’t just consider what the author thinks, consider what you think. * There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for. * Sucking the marrow out of life doesn’t mean choking on the bone. * No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world. * 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. * Boys, you must strive to find your own voice.
Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation. ” Don’t be resigned to that. Break out! break out now is the time! * [Last words] Thank you, boys. Thank you. ————————————————- Dialogue Keating: “Seize the day. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. ” Why does the writer use these lines? Charlie: Because he’s in a hurry. Keating: No. Ding! Thank you for playing anyway. Because we are food for worms, lads. Because, believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold and die.
Keating: Language was developed for one endeavor, and that is – Mr. Anderson? Come on, are you a man or an amoeba? [pause] Mr. Perry? Neil: To communicate. Keating: No! To woo women! Charlie Dalton: Welton Academy. Hello? Yes, he is. Just a moment. Mr. Nolan, it’s for you. It’s God. He says we should have girls at Welton. … Keating: Phone call from God. If it had been collect, that would have been daring! McAllister: You take a big risk by encouraging them to be artists, John. When they realize they’re not Rembrandts, Shakespeares or Mozarts, they’ll hate you for it. Keating: We’re not talking artists, George, we’re talking freethinkers.
McAllister: Freethinkers at seventeen? Keating: Funny — I never pegged you as a cynic. McAllister: Not a cynic, a realist. “Show me the heart unfettered by foolish dreams, and I’ll show you a happy man. ” Keating: “But only in their dreams can man be truly free. ‘Twas always thus, and always thus will be. ” McAllister: Tennyson? Keating: No, Keating. [Keating stands on his desk] Keating: Why do I stand up here? Anybody? Dalton: To feel taller! Keating: No! [Dings a bell with his foot] Keating: Thank you for playing Mr. Dalton. I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way. Todd has been encouraged to improvise a poem. ] Keating: Say the first thing that pops into your head, even if it’s total gibberish. Go on, go on. Todd: Uh, uh, a sweaty-toothed madman. Keating: Good God, boy, there’s a poet in you, after all. There, close your eyes. Close your eyes. Close ’em. Now, describe what you see. [Keating puts his hands over Todd’s eyes and they begin to slowly spin around. ] Todd: I close my eyes… and his image floats beside me. Keating: … the sweaty toothed madman… Todd: The sweaty toothed madman whose stare pounds my brain. Keating: Yes! Excellent. Todd: And all the while he’s mumbling.
Keating: What’s he mumbling? Todd: Mumbling, “Truth. Truth is like, like a blanket that always leaves your feet cold. ” [The class laughs. ] Keating: Forget them. Forget them. Stay with the blanket. Tell me about that blanket. Todd: “Y-y-y-you push it, stretch it. It’ll never be enough. You kick at it, beat it. It’ll never cover any of us. From the moment we enter crying to the moment we leave dying, it will just cover your face as you wail and cry and scream. “