In a week of bad news, this makes for a good Friday Funny. I just showed this to my boys. Their favorite line was, “with a tiny flag to give you hope.” Williams was such a funny and brilliant man.
One more story & clip to share:
I was a sensitive college sophomore when Dead Poets Society first came out in theaters. It was 1989 and I had just finished my freshman year at K-State and had pretty much had the tuna salad knocked out of me those first two semesters. I felt a bit like a square peg. Everybody around me seemed more grown up, more grounded. They knew what they wanted to do a in life. I had been there two semesters and had already changed my major twice (I would change it twice more before settling on a degree for which I was completely ill-suited). I was nineteen years old. How do you know what you want to do with the rest of your life at nineteen? And if you said, “I want to be a songwriter,” in my world? That kind of talk would get you laughed out of the room. I think I was beginning to shrink back a bit, push down the passion, downplay the artistic pursuits that had been my comfort through high-school. I was ready to do whatever I needed to do in order to conform.
Then I watched Dead Poets Society. Romantic maybe. Sentimental? Not really. When we become too cool for passion and art and songwriting and music, we have surrendered the best parts of life. When I returned to college that next fall, I took my guitar and keyboard back with me, and started writing songs again. For quite some time, this thought was never far from my consciousness: “The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”
Here’s the full quote, and the clip: “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 That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”