Resurrecting Dead Poets

I am not a huge fan of Walt Whitman but, now that Robin Williams’ quoting of his poem “O Me! O Life!” from Dead Poets Society is the background for Apple’s new iPad commercial, that poem has once again become imprinted on the front of my brain.

O Me! O Life!
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, as a human being, cannot help but ask myself sometimes, what good am I? And the honest truth to that is: I don’t know. I don’t know what good I am, what grand purpose I have in the scheme of life, what – if any – legacy I will leave after me. All I know is that I am here and whatever verse I am contributing, I am trying to make it a good one, a sound one, one that will encourage and edify. I don’t really know what I am doing but I’m trying my best to do it well.

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