Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Carpe diem is Latin for "pluck the day," meaning "enjoy the moment". It has been incorrectly translated into English as "seize the day," but carpere means "to pluck." This rule of life is found in the "Odes" (I, 11.8) of the Roman poet Horace (65 - 8 BC), where it reads:
- Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero
- ("pluck the day, never trust the next")
It is quoted accordingly either as a demand not to waste somebody's time with useless things, or as a justification for pleasure and joy of life with little fear for the future. This idea was popular in 16th and 17th-century English poetry, for example in Robert Herrick's To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time, which begins "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may". 
Among the Horation themes treated by Herrick was that of carpe diem, "seize the day", the famous motto of Odes 1.11. Another of Herrick's poems, His Age  includes the lines:
- Ah Posthumus! Our years hence fly,
- And leave no sound; nor piety,
- Or prayers, or vow
- Can keep the wrinkle from the brow -
- A merry mind
- Looks forward, scorns what's left behind;
- Let's live, my Wickes, then, while we may
- An here enjoy our holiday.
- O MISTRESS mine, where are you roaming?
- O stay and hear! your true-love's coming
- That can sing both high and low;
- Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
- Journeys end in lovers meeting -
- Every wise man's son doth know.
- What is love? 'tis not hereafter;
- Present mirth hath present laughter;
- What's to come is still unsure:
- In delay there lies no plenty, -
- Then come kiss me, Sweet-and-twenty,
- Youth's a stuff will not endure.
- But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? - Carpe - hear it? - Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.
The title of a Terry Pratchett novel is Carpe Jugulum, (Pluck the neck) meaning "Go for the throat." Another alternative, more light-hearted version common on T-shirts is carpe scrotum (pluck the scrotum), juxtaposed with the free translation "seize life by the balls".
Metallica's 1997 release Reload also features a song entitled "Carpe Diem Baby", which encourages the listener to "come squeeze and suck the day / Come Carpe Diem Baby." Progressive metal group Dream Theater's A Change of Seasons EP features the 23-minute long title track, telling the story of a man whose birth, life and death are juxtaposed with the changing of seasons in a single year. The song carries a very strong theme of "seizing the day" and making every moment meaningful. Soundbytes from Dead Poets Society and Robert Herrick's poem mentioned earlier in this article are featured in the song.
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