As anyone who has ever suffered a medical emergency, or the death of a loved one, or any other sort of life-altering event that casts the ordinary business of living aside, sometimes one needs to live day by day, seizing each moment and savoring every precious second. Indeed, sometimes the only way to live is to get through each minute, but at the same time, one should never ignore the gift that is each minute.
There are many poems that celebrate this juxtaposition: the human poised between death and life. On Poets.org’s home page this week is an essay speaking of just this philosophy: Carpe Diem: Poems for Making the Most of Time:
|Carpe diem remains an enduring rhetorical device in poetry because it is a sentiment that possesses an elasticity of meaning, suggesting both possibility and futility. Many poets have responded to the sentiment, engaging in poetic dialogues and arguments over its meaning and usefulness.|
Here are some poems that embody the spirit of living, living despite the pain and uncertainty that follows us everywhere, living with joy alongside the quiet specter of mortality:
Ellen Bass Dead Butterfly
Li-Young Lee One Heart
Rick Campbell Heart
This spark: write a carpe diem poem.