What is Carpe Diem?

What Does Carpe Diem Mean

The expression carpe diem comes from Latin and was first written by the Roman poet Horace . If we translate this phrase literally we will see that it means “ harvest the day ” and it has to do with taking advantage of life in the present. For carpe diem it is important not to waste a second of our lives and make the most of our time .



This meaning is related to the idea that we do not know exactly what will happen tomorrow . The future is improbable and inaccurate, that is why the present must be enjoyed and taken advantage of.

The poet's complete phrase was “carpe diem quam minimum credulous postero” which, if we translate it into Spanish, would be something like “ take advantage of every day, don't trust tomorrow ”. Horacio believes that the only thing that is necessary is death , the only thing of which we are sure. That is why life must be used while it lasts .

See also: Freedom

Carpe diem as a lifestyle

Carpe Diem is an invitation to enjoy the present.

Today this concept has been taken as a leitmotif in the lives of many people . These people who take carpe diem as a way of life consider that we must live each day as if it were the last day of our lives. Time is ticking and we must live the moments here and now.

Many consider this conception of life erroneous and little responsible . Those who affirm this consider that not thinking about the future is not correct, since we must think and consider what will become of us when we are old, ensure a quiet life and without work or responsibilities .

Carpe diem is an invitation to enjoy the present , this moment, without creating unnecessary worries about the future. The only thing we have in concrete is the present.

The film The Society of Dead Poets (released in 1989 and directed by Peter Weir) took this concept into its history. In it, a literature teacher urges his students to follow the mandate of carpe diem, to change their attitude towards life based on this principle.

Carpe Diem as a literary topic

This phrase has taken the form of a literary topic, that is, a recurring theme in universal literature of all times . Carpe diem can be considered as an exhortation not to waste time and for another to enjoy the present time and every moment of our lives without stopping to think about the future, since it is uncertain.

Carpe diem had greater importance in the Baroque and Romanticism , although it also had its importance during the Renaissance .

It is important to mention that this concept is closely related to another Latin topic, the memento mori , which tells us, remember that you are going to die . The only thing we know exactly is that we are going to die and we must live remembering this, because if not, life slips out of our hands, time passes and we have not enjoyed anything.

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