Editorial Board | 2 min read
Apple's new iPad Air advertisement embraces poetry, quoting Walt Whitman's "O Me! O Life." Celebrated as one of America's most important poets, Whitman's words were woven into a speech delivered by Robin Williams in his famous role as teacher, John Keating in the film, Dead Poets Society:
"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?"
(O iPad, my iPad: a play on Keating's opening 'O Captain! My Captain!--also by Walt Whitman)
The poem, O Me! O Life! --in its entirety, below:
Source: Leaves of Grass (1892)
So, taking the lead from William's character, John Keating, what verse will you contribute to the "powerful play" of life? We'd love to hear from you.