Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Carpe Diem / Seize the Day

   “I held a moment in my hand, brilliant as a star, fragile as a flower, a tiny sliver of one hour. I dropped it carelessly. Ah! I didn’t know I held opportunity.” — Hazel Lee

“I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life… put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” — Henry David Thoreau in Walden, quoted by the character Neil in the movie “Dead Poets Society

Midweek Motif ~ Carpe Diem / Seize the Day

Today’s motif prompts to write about cherishing each moment, making most of the golden chance, seizing the day, living as best and fully as possible.

Remembering Jean-Paul Sartre in this connection: ‘There is only one day left, always starting over; it is given to us at dawn, and taken away from us at dusk’.

It could be the seizing of a moment of beauty or anything precious. It’s a “Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May” theme telling one to have the courage to say a complete, burning ‘yes’ to life.

Have a Carpe Diem mindset for today’s theme and write your poem of ‘now’.

To His Coy Mistress
by Andrew Marvell

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love would grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near:
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble vaults, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long-preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball,
And tear our pleasure with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

This living hand, now warm and capable
by John Keats

This living hand, now warm and capable
Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold
And in the icy silence of the tomb,
So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights
That thou would wish thy own heart dry of blood
So in my veins red life might stream again,
And thou be conscience-calm’d—see here it is—
I hold it towards you.

When I Was One-and-Twenty
by A.E. Housman

When I was one-and-twenty
       I heard a wise man say,
“Give crowns and pounds and guineas
      But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
      But keep your fancy free.”
But I was one-and-twenty,
       No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and-twenty
       I heard him say again,
The heart out of the bosom
       Was never given in vain;
’Tis paid with sighs a plenty
       And sold for endless rue.”
And I am two-and-twenty,
       And ’tis true, ’tis true.

Figs from Thistles: First Fig
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

My candle burns at both ends
   It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
   It gives a lovely light!

One Heart
by Li-Young Lee

Look at the birds. Even flying
is born

out of nothing. The first sky
is inside you, open

at either end of day.
The work of wings
was always freedom, fastening
one heart to every falling thing. 

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—
                (Next week Susan’s Midweek Motif will be ~ Money)


  1. Thanks, Sumana, although while I'm seizing the day, I'm mindful of the impact this has on my tomorrows!

  2. Hi all... looking forward to reading all your poems. Sumana -I linked twice- the first one doesn't word.. kindly delete if possible. Apologies. Think the second one is ok.

  3. Not a happy poem from me today. This morning I woke up to the shameful new statistics that one in six Australian women are abused by their partners. Australian culture has always been misogynist but seeing the figures has made me feel very depressed, particularly as Australia has not made it into the least sexist 20 countries. Canada, New Zealand, UK ,USA are all represented but not us.

  4. How I LOVE the poem "One Heart". Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for the prompt. I will ponder, and be back.

  5. Thanks Sumana for another challenging prompt. Love the quote by Hazel Lee. But alas, I've been dropping precious moments carelessly, of late. My contribution is only an allusion of what can be; carpe diem. :-)

  6. Thanks Susan a for a great prompt. I found a clever way to seize the day!

  7. I hope I can use this prompt as a continuous motto for myself. Thanks for it. Have a great day Sumana.

  8. Thanks for the prompt Sumana. I decided to seize the night and get my writing mojo back

  9. Lovely! I should have read the prompt before writing my poem, but instead I seized on these days--full moon in the feast of Purim--the story of Esther. There is an Esther to celebrate in every land.

  10. Thank you for this prompt. Just finished writing mine at 11:30 pm - will be back in the morning to visit and comment.

  11. Thank you for this prompt, Sumana. This is the second day of being snowed in to catch up on writing as we had intermittent electricity and the Internet wouldn't work. Thankfully, it seems OK now, so I'm seizing the opportunity to get as much writing doe as possible. My poem is a short one, just in case the power goes again!


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