Thursday, August 14, 2014

What will your verse be...?

In my blog post yesterday, remembering Robin Williams, I referred to a passage from "Dead Poet's Society" on the power of poetry. It's worth repeating -

"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. 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."

Trust Apple to have brought these lines to life. Yes, it's a "commercial" for Apple's iPad, but it does add some amazing visual imagery to the words and Keating's comments on the poem, "O me! O life!"

"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?"

And it does remind us of the challenge of the poem, to add our own verse. Here's the poem -

O Me! O Life!

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?

That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

At the moment my verse may just be this weblog and its pictures my visuals, however, I am working on refining and expanding the entries, albeit - slowly, very slowly - Maybe an iPad would speed things up :)

The picture - Nuit Blanche 2013, where people come to contemplate (and capture) the visual verses of others.

Have an awesome day!!

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