Dead Poets Society is my favorite movie.
Its resonated with me since I first saw it in a movie theater in 1989. I had an extraordinary English teacher when I was in the 10th grade. Janice Winokur gave me a love of Shakespeare and of writing. Certainly Robin Williams’ John Keating fit that mold. The film also drove home the importance of letting young adults follow their passions and the need for supportive parents.
There are some sublime speeches in the movie, but none more powerful than the one Apple used in this new commercial for iPad.
Screenwriter Tom Shulman crafted a great speech, but it’s the words of Walt Whitman’s O Me! O Life! that are the centerpiece.
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.
I’ve pondered what my verse is for several years now, especially as I glided past 40.
Some of my verse is Hat Trick. It means a lot to me that there are people who love it enough to leave some passionate reviews about the characters. It’s beyond anything I could imagine that someone from Australia would ping me on Facebook telling me she’d read the book four times already, is looking forward to the sequels and asking if two of the secondary characters might get their own book.
Some of my verse is the funds I’ve raised, and will continue to, for Cycle for the Cause. Some of it is also in the volunteer work I have done.
My verse is a work in progress… and I’m excited to be working on it.