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Article: carpe diem | seize the day

carpe diem | seize the day

carpe diem | seize the day

Carpe Diem | Seize the Day | What does it mean? Where did it come from? The meaning and history of Carpe Diem the poem.

Carpe Diem is a Latin aphorism, usually translated "Seize the Day", taken from the Roman poet Horace's Odes (23 BC).

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Carpe is the second-person singular present active imperative of carpō "pick or pluck" used by Horace to mean "enjoy, seize, use, make use of". Diem is the accusative case of the noun dies "day". A more literal translation of "carpe diem" would thus be "pluck the day [as it is ripe]"—that is, enjoy the moment.


In Horace, the phrase is part of the longer carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero, which can be translated as "Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow (the future)". The ode says that the future is unforeseen and that one should not leave to chance future happenings, but rather one should do all one can today to make one's future better. This phrase is usually understood against Horace's Epicurean background. The meaning of "carpe diem" as used by Horace is not to ignore the future, but rather not to trust that everything is going to fall into place for you and taking action for the future today.

carpe diem jewellery

Carpe Diem Poem | Latin

Tu ne quaesieris, scire nefas, quem mihi, quem tibi finem di dederint,

Leuconoe, nec Babylonios temptaris numeros. ut melius,

quidquid erit, pati. seu pluris hiemes seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam,

quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare Tyrrhenum.

Sapias, vina liques et spatio brevi spem longam reseces.

dum loquimur, fugerit invida aetas:

carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.


Seize the Day Poem | English

Don't ask (it's forbidden to know) what end the gods have given me or you, Leuconoe.

Don't play with Babylonian numerology either.

How much better it is to endure whatever will be!

Whether Jupiter has allotted you many more winters or this one,

which even now wears out the Tyrrhenian sea on the opposing rocks, is the final one be wise,

be truthful, 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 day.

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