Before a recent Apple iPad commercial made it popular again, those of us who are products of the 80’s probably remember being moved by Walt Whitman’s poem “O Me! O Life!” for the first time through the film, “Dead Poets Society.”
As we join with countless others around the world in remembering the great actor and storyteller Robin Williams this week, we pause for a moment and reflect on this scene from one of our favorite films and Favorite Stories. It is in part what drives me (and us as an agency) to “contribute a verse” to the powerful play of life as well as lending a hand to those extraordinary people and organizations who are doing tremendous things in the world — contributing their verses as well.
O Me! O Life!
by Walt Whitman
Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring, What will your verse be?
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.