In the 1989 movie Dead Poet’s Society, Robin Williams plays an English teacher at a New England prep school in 1959.  Poetry is his means of conveying important life messages to his students.


In one scene, he quotes some lines from Walt Whitman’s “O Me!  O Life!”, from Leaves of Grass (1892).  A recent commercial for the iPad Air uses the audio from that scene.  But the poem deserves to be considered in full.

A first edition (1855) of Leaves of Grass A first edition (1855) of Leaves of Grass

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…

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  1. Thank you for sharing this profoundly amazing piece, O captain. My captain. 😉


    1. Thank JDB, Marie. I’m feeling some loss at her decision to abandon Augenblick. Hence the need to share her swan song.


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