Raising the Dead Poet’s Society

November 17, 2010 — 6 Comments

Who cares about a bunch of rich, white, prep school kids from New England in 1959?

Well, I went to public high school so this was as far off of an experience as I can imagine.  Yet there is something inside of us that associates with each student in the classic movie, Dead Poet’s Society.

This is the movie that inserted the Latin phrase “Carpe Diem” into pop culture. In an era that gave us inspiring movies like Rudy and Say Anything, Dead Poet’s Society became the essential “must experience” movie for youth in the same way as classic books like The Catcher in the Rye or A Separate Peace did as literature.

One of my favorites, Peter Weir directed this brilliant film.  Robin Williams delivered an Oscar worthy performance and stars like Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard emerged as tremendous young actors.  The soundtrack is mesmerizing. The film ages like a fine wine.

You haven’t lived unless you’ve seen Dead Poet’s Society.

When you are stuck in a rut of your life, or your job, watch it.

When you are so immersed by the process and routine of life, watch it.  You will come alive.

When you are raising your kids, make sure they watch this at the appropriate age.  They will thank you later.

If you are  teacher, take note on how to inspire your students.

It’s never too late to pursue your dreams, live life to its fullest and be the person God intended you to be.  That is the message of Dead Poet’s Society.

I’ll leave you with this.

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 the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

What will your verse be?

6 responses to Raising the Dead Poet’s Society


    I might have to take exception to “if you are a teacher take note about how to inspire students.”
    I wish I was able to inspire students like Robin Williams. Often when it comes to teaching it isn’t that teachers don’t want to inspire, it is just hard to be inspiring.


    David, I had both experiences. I attended a prep school like it from 7-10th (not boarding and mine was co-Ed) and then a giant public school 11-12th. I had multiple teachers like him who’s voices, to this day, echo in my heart and mind when I am challenged or weary of life’s fight. I had multiple experiences where they encouraged me to learn and seek out life’s marrow. For me it is a reminder to continue that quest today and inspire it in people of all ages that I meet. Thanks for the reminder. Guess what I will be dusting off and watching?


    Couldn’t agree more there. This movie is like re-reading Catcher in the Rye, Separate Peace, or watching A Scent of a Woman. As I age, the meaning changes a bit but I see myself more in the Keating position (or try to be).

    Dust off and watch away!

    Big plans for Thanksgiving?


    Staying home and soaking it up while I can. http://bit.ly/bkl4Ps 😉

    How about you?

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Top 10 Most Inspirational Movies « Scenes of Life - February 26, 2013

    […] always be a reminder that I should be a student of life. I wrote about this movie in a post called Raising the Dead Poet’s Society. I may be in my thirties now but I should not lose the young and eager spirit like the students in […]

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