The Full Wiki

Carpe diem: Wikis

Advertisements
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A sundial with a carpe diem inscription.
Another sundial with a carpe diem inscription.

Carpe diem is a phrase from a Latin poem by Horace (See "Source" section below). It is popularly translated as "seize the day". Carpe means "pick, pluck, pluck off, gather", but Horace uses the word to mean "enjoy, make use of."

Contents

Meaning

In Horace, the phrase is part of the longer Carpe diem quam minime credula postero – "Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future", and the ode says that the future is unknowable, and that instead one should scale back one's hopes to a brief future, and drink one's wine.

Advertisements

Related expressions

Rabbinic

The phrase "And if not now, when?" (Pirkei Avoth 1:14)

Latin

An 1898 German postcard, quoting Gaudeamus igitur.

The phrase Collige, virgo, rosas [...] ("gather, girl, the roses") appears at the end of the poem De rosis nascentibus[1] (also called Idyllium de rosis) attributed to Ausonius or Virgil. It encourages youth to enjoy life before it's too late; compare "Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May" from To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time.

Related but distinct is the expression memento mori ("remember that you are mortal"); indeed, memento mori is often used with some of the sense of carpe diem. However, two major elements of memento mori are humility and repentance, neither of which figures prominently in the concept of carpe diem. So the two phrases could also represent opposing worldviews: with 'carpe diem' representing carefree, overflowing life and 'memento mori' a humble, meek existence.

Similarly, ubi sunt – "where are they [now]?" – invokes transience and meditation on death, but is not an exhortation to action. Compare Dead Poets Society, where a trophy case filled with pictures of long-dead boys ("these boys are now fertilizing daffodils") leads to an invocation of carpe diem.

De Brevitate Vitae ("On the Shortness of Life"), often referred to as Gaudeamus igitur, ("Let us rejoice") is a popular academic commercium song, on taking joy in student life, with the knowledge that one will someday die. It is medieval Latin, dating to 1287.

Horace himself parodies the phrase in another of his poems, 'The town mouse and the country mouse'. He uses the phrase carpe viam meaning 'seize the road' to compare the two different attitudes to life of a person (or in this case, a mouse) living in a city and in the countryside.

Source

Original usage from Odes 1.11, in Latin and English:

Tu ne quaesieris, scire nefas, quem mihi, quem tibi Don't ask (it's forbidden to know) what end
finem di dederint, Leuconoe, nec Babylonios the gods will grant to me or you, Leuconoe. Don't play with Babylonian
temptaris numeros. ut melius, quidquid erit, pati. fortune-telling either. It is better to endure whatever will be.
seu pluris hiemes seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam, Whether Jupiter has allotted to you many more winters or this final one
quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare which even now wears out the Tyrrhenian sea on the rocks placed opposite
Tyrrhenum: sapias, vina liques et spatio brevi — be wise, strain the wine, and scale back your long hopes
spem longam reseces. dum loquimur, fugerit invida to a short period. While we speak, envious time will have {already} fled
aetas: carpe diem quam minimum credula postero. Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the next.

Popular culture

The movie's line "Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary." from the film Dead Poets Society (1989), starring Robin Williams, was voted as the 95th greatest movie quote by the American Film Institute [2]. The Line was used by Will (Simon Bird) in the Inbetweeners

References

Footnotes

  1. ^ De rosis nascentibus, (German) in a collection of the works of Virgil under the note Hoc carmen scripsit poeta ignotus ("This poem was written by an unknown poet").
  2. ^ AFI List of Quotes American Film Institute.

External links


Simple English

File:Yvoire cadran
Carpe diem.

Carpe diem is a famous phrase from one of the poems of Horace.

The poem in Latin and English

The poem is originally from Odes 1.11. It is given in Latin and English below.

Tu ne quaesieris, scire nefas, quem mihi, quem tibi Leuconoe, don't ask — it's dangerous to know —
finem di dederint, Leuconoe, nec Babylonios what end the gods will give me or you. Don't play with Babylonian
temptaris numeros. ut melius, quidquid erit, pati. fortune-telling either. Better just deal with whatever comes your way.
seu pluris hiemes seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam, Whether you'll see several more winters or whether the last one
quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare Jupiter gives you is the one even now pelting the rocks on the shore with the waves
Tyrrhenum: sapias, vina liques et spatio brevi of the Tyrrhenian sea — be smart, drink your wine. Scale back your long hopes
spem longam reseces. dum loquimur, fugerit invida to a short period. Even as we speak, envious time
aetas: carpe diem quam minimum credula postero. is running away from us. Seize the day, trusting little in the future.

What it means

Especially during the Baroque era, the phrase was important. In the 17th century there was the Thirty Years' war, which lasted roughly from 1618 to 1648. For the people of the time, death was present almost everywhere. To compensate for that there were the concepts of Carpe diem (There is little time left, use it as best you can), Vanitas (Vanity; things are not what they seem), and Memento mori (Remember you will die).

Better translation

A better translation of the phrase would probably be pluck the day (as a fruit might be plucked from a tree).

Error creating thumbnail: sh: convert: command not found
Wikimedia Commons has images, video, and/or sound related to:



Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message