Carpe Vitam

by Luke Muehlhauser on February 19, 2010 in Inspirational

A reader contacted me, using the phrase “carpe diem quam minimum credula postero” as her email signature. I had only ever heard “carpe diem,” so I googled the rest. Turns out it’s the full line of the original source for the phrase “carpe diem” – a Latin poem by Horace (died 8 BCE).

Here’s the context:

Don’t ask what end the gods may grant to me or you, Leuconoe.

Don’t play with Babylonian fortune-telling, either.

It is better to endure whatever will be.

Whether Jupiter has allotted to you many more winters or this final one…

be wise, strain the wine, and scale back your long hopes to a short period.

While we speak, envious time will have already fled.

Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the next.

We don’t know what the next day will bring. Thus, it is wise to seize this day.

This is the day to chase your dreams. This is the day to make a difference. This is the day to give and take whatever happiness you can.

Moreover, if there is a next life, we don’t know what it will bring. So:

Carpe vitam. Seize this life.

This is the life in which to chase your dreams. This is the life in which to make a difference. This is the life in which to give and take whatever happiness you can.

Carpe vitam.

carpe diem sunshine

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Bebok February 19, 2010 at 7:11 am

It should be “carpe vitam”, you need the accusative case.

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lukeprog February 19, 2010 at 7:19 am

Bebok,

Thanks! I was hoping somebody would fix whatever mistake I make!

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Bebok February 19, 2010 at 7:25 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbI-fDzUJXI

Now write it hundred times.

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Reginald Selkirk February 19, 2010 at 8:25 am

It is better to endure whatever will be.

Que sera, sera.

be wise, strain the wine

But don’t strain the tequila. Swallow that worm!

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John D February 19, 2010 at 9:31 am

Happy the man, and happy he alone who can in all honesty call today his own. May he have life, and strength enough to say “Yesterday is dead and gone, I want to live today.”

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thacks February 19, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I just read that all with the Chariots of Fire theme song playing in my head.

sort of ironic.

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Reginald Selkirk February 19, 2010 at 12:55 pm

It’s better than the Irish Blessing. The bit about “May the road come up to meet you” always sounded very painful.

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Rob February 21, 2010 at 6:26 am

“[D]o not be anxious for tomorrow, because tomorrow will be anxious for itself; sufficient for the day is its evil.”

Matthew 6:34

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