Tonight I’ve been prepping to teach my 2 new courses (a course on graphic novels and another course on poetry in today’s world).
I was cranking out first-day-of-school Prezi presentations when I remembered a particular scene from Dead Poet’s Society. Then I remembered a conversation I had a few weeks ago about this particular scene, and how it is now an Apple ipad commercial.
I just watched the commercial, and it gave me chills. The juxtaposition of John Keating (Robin Williams)’s words mixed with the vast visuals of modern society left me speechless. I’m kind of blown away, and feeling a sudden burst of poetic inspiration.
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 (Robin Williams), Dead Poets Society, 1989
Well? What will your verse be?