Dead Poets Society

by - Friday, August 15, 2014

I normally avoid writing posts in the memory of famous people that died recently, but Robin Williams's death took me by surprise, not so much the fact that he died but the way he did and the reasons behind it. That man filled so many of my childhood hours with laughter and joy through his comedies, but he also starred in this one movie that seriously rocked my world. No, not in a nonsensical or "cool" way, but in the "what the hell am I doing" way. I'll explain myself further later in the post, but the movie I'm talking about is "Dead Poets Society".

I bet a lot of you have watched the movie before. For those (few I hope) who haven't, I'll link you with both Wikipedia's entry and the official trailer of the movie.

Are there many people out there who haven't seen or heard at some point in their lives the expression "Carpe Diem"? I hadn't when I first watched the movie, but it was understandable, I was only fourteen years old, not much of a TV fan and with no Latin education whatsoever. The film had been out on the cinemas years before I watched it and apparently was a massive success. It had even won an Oscar for best Writing. But I'm blabbering. Why am I really recommending this movie to you?

Well, because this movie taught myself back then a very important lesson. You see, from the age of fourteen and for some years onwards I was a highly introverted person. I had depression, caused by things and situations I couldn't affect in any major way. I had to endure social discrimination because of my then appearance and strong personality (I dared speaking my mind about the school bully who believed he was both smart and handsome, he was neither). I had to face personal family problems. And on top of that, I had to keep my grades high (for some bloody reason my family considered me some kind of prodigy, which didn't do me any favours in life, it just caused more stress that I had to deal with). I was in dire need of an outlet before I ended up hurting myself. And it was THIS movie that gave me that outlet.

Poetry. Carpe Diem. Seize the Day. Suck the marrow of Life. And whenever you can, put that passion into words. Into poems. Into stories. Cry. Laugh. Love. Live.

I know all that may sound ever so boring or cliche to you, but for a fourteen year old it was a revelation. It was also the time of my life when I was deep into "the Doors", so I started reading poetry. Edgar Allan Poe, William Blake, Lord Byron. And I started writing poetry. Passionately. Almost every day.

I cried a lot during this movie. I still do when I watch it. And that's why I recommend it. Not just because of the tears, but because of the life lessons. 

In the words of John Keating, "What will your verse be?"

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