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The Idea Of Carpe Diem In As I Walked Out One Evening By W. H.auden

In the film Dead Poets Society, Mr. Keating instructs his students on how to live each day. In the movie Dead Poets Society, Mr.Keating teaches his students to seize every opportunity. So, we must make the most out of each opportunity, day and hour. The theme of the movie reminds my of a W. H.Auden’s poem, As I walked Out One Evening. The poem shows that life can be as fleeting as the lovers who declare their love will never end. They believe that their love can be conquered by nothing. But the clocks are all listening and watching, and they start “whirring and chiming” to warn the lovers not to let Time fool them. Auden gives time a capital “T” in this poem. Time warns that the “into many green valleys, drifts appalling snow” will break the threaded dancing and diver’s brilliant bow. Time continues to warn, “In headaches and worry vaguely, life leaks out, and Time has his fancy, today or tomorrow.” It is implied that Time will defeat us, and that we will never be able to enjoy our short lives because of the stress of daily life. It shows us how time can be devious and sneaky. We will not escape death, no matter our youthful naivety. We will all die in the end. The cruel reality of the world is that time will always catch up with us, even if we are living the moment and having fun. Life is short, and there are many regrets. We may realize as we age that we have missed out on a lot. We are only a tiny part of the vast universe. We will never understand the complexity and confusion of life. We still accept and carry on. The lines, “And cracks in tea-cups open, lanes to the land of dead, show this idea of confusion and perplexity in life. The beggars are raffling the banknotes and Jack is charmed by the Giant, the Lily-white boy is a roarer and Jill is on her back.

This poem conveys the message that life is not permanent and we should make every effort to enjoy it, regardless of its difficulties, complexity and absurdity. After all, one day everything will be over. The recent events in my life have taught me the importance of this poem. It’s funny, when I was graduating from high-school, I was so eager to move on to college. I now miss that time. It’s been a year since I graduated high school and I still miss it. Recently, I lost my two grandmothers in a matter of months. I wish I would have spent more time getting to know them. Time was a real problem. It’s possible that all the nights I was too busy with homework to sit and listen and enjoy my friends and their pearls or wisdom added up. The passage of time warns us not to leave important tasks undone, particularly when the chance to do so has passed. We will die from these missed chances and opportunities.

Auden’s poem is interesting, but the lines that I find most intriguing are those following. This stanza refers to someone crying and looking out of a window. They may be thinking about how close they are to the end and regretting the opportunities that were missed. Neil could have been someone who didn’t see the blessings of life. You will love your neighbor with your crooked hearts. We are all human. Neil’s father and Neil themselves were both to blame for not heeding this message. Time is right, the poet concludes. Both the lovers’ love and their lives are over. And even the clocks have stopped tolling. The deep river and the time will still flow on, even though their lives are over. It was Mr. Keating’s intention to convey this message to the boys. Carpe Diem! Seize the day, we won’t be here long to regret missed opportunities and cry. The world will continue to exist, even if you are not around. It is your gift to live life.

Auden also says the same. Time is a constant. The time will not be defeated by anyone, regardless of how much they love each other, how rich someone is, or even what they do. The final word will be made by time. People must live their lives according to their own desires, not those of their parents, their friends, or even their spouses. Auden’s poem shows that life, while precious, is a short one. Once time has been wasted, it cannot be replaced. The scene from “Dead Poets Society”, where Mr. Keating whispered to the boys, “Carpe Diem” as he led them up to a picture of dead students. I was reminded of Auden’s poem when Keating told the boys to “seize today” because they were like them before. They were also young and optimistic. After a while, the students became drab. Now, the young skulls in these pictures have been buried six foot below. One day they will all be six foot under. Mr. Keating urges the boys to live life to its fullest, and to chase their dreams.

Auden says that time can be deceiving. It causes us not to fully live every moment, as we become engrossed in our “headaches & worries”. No wonder we often see time as the enemy. My family, friends and possibly my grandchildren will be there to greet me when I pass away. It is my hope that when I die, I will be surrounded by all of them – including my kids and maybe even grandkids. Hope I don’t have regrets over missed opportunities. Take advantage of the opportunity to be yourself, be honest with yourself, and have faith in you. This is your day to follow your dreams. Carpe Diem is always a good reminder, no matter what situation you are in. I’ve loved Auden’s poem “Seize the day” and I think students in college should read it because it is a great reminder to seize the moment.


  • tommyperry

    I'm Tommy Perry, a 55-year-old educational blogger who enjoys traveling. I've been writing about education since 2012, and I hope to continue doing so for as long as I can. I also enjoy cooking and spending time with family and friends.

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