Carpe diem

Carpe diem is a Latin aphorism, usually translated "seize the day", taken from book 1 of the Roman poet Horace's work Odes (23 BC).[1]

Yvoire cadran solaire
A sundial inscribed carpe diem


Carpe is the second-person singular present active imperative of carpō "pick or pluck" used by Horace to mean "enjoy, seize, make use of".[2] Diem is the accusative of dies "day". A more literal translation of carpe diem would thus be "pluck the day [as it is ripe]"—that is, enjoy the moment.



Text from Odes 1.11:

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.

Ask not ('tis forbidden knowledge), what our destined term of years,
Mine and yours; nor scan the tables of your Babylonish seers.
Better far to bear the future, my Leuconoe, like the past,
Whether Jove has many winters yet to give, or this our last;
This, that makes the Tyrrhene billows spend their strength against the shore.
Strain your wine and prove your wisdom; life is short; should hope be more?
In the moment of our talking, envious time has ebb'd away.
Seize the present; trust tomorrow e'en as little as you may.[3]

In ancient literature

Perhaps the first written expression of the concept is the advice given by Siduri to Gilgamesh, telling him to forgo his mourning and embrace life although some scholars see it as simply urging Gilgamesh to abandon his mourning, "reversing the liminal rituals of mourning and returning to the normal and normative behaviors of Mesopotamian society."[4][5]


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.[6] 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.[7]

Other Latin

Gaudeamus igitur 1898
An 1898 German postcard, quoting "Gaudeamus igitur"

Collige, virgo, rosas ("gather, girl, the roses") appears at the end of the poem "De rosis nascentibus"[8] ("Of growing roses", also called Idyllium de rosis) attributed to Ausonius or Virgil. It encourages youth to enjoy life before it is too late; compare "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may" from Robert Herrick's 1648 poem "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time".

"De Brevitate Vitae" ("On the Shortness of Life"), often referred to as "Gaudeamus igitur", (Let us rejoice) is a popular academic commercium song, on taking joy in student life, with the knowledge that one will someday die. It is medieval Latin, dating to 1287.

Related but distinct is the expression memento mori (remember that you are mortal) which carries some of the same connotation as carpe diem. For Horace, mindfulness of our own mortality is key in making us realize the importance of the moment. "Remember that you are mortal, so seize the day." Over time the phrase memento mori also came to be associated with penitence, as suggested in many vanitas paintings. Today many listeners will take the two phrases as representing almost opposite approaches, with carpe diem urging us to savour life and memento mori urging us to resist its allure. This is not the original sense of the memento mori phrase as used by Horace.

Contemporary English

In modern English, the expression "YOLO", meaning "you only live once", expresses a similar sentiment.[9][10]

In the 1989 American film Dead Poets Society, the English teacher John Keating, played by Robin Williams, famously says: "Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary." Later, this line was voted as the 95th greatest movie quote by the American Film Institute.[11]


  1. ^ Quintus Horatius Flaccus, Carmina, Liber I, Carmen XI (in Latin)
  2. ^ Lewis, Charlton T. (1890). "carpō". An Elementary Latin Dictionary. New York, Cincinnati, and Chicago: American Book Company.
  3. ^ Translation by John Conington, 1882
  4. ^ Ackerman, Susan (2005). When Heroes Love: The Ambiguity of Eros in the Stories of Gilgamesh and David. Columbia University Press. pp. 130–131. ISBN 978-0231132602.
  5. ^ Perdue, Leo G. (2009). Scribes, Sages, and Seers: The Sage in the Eastern Mediterranean World: The Sage in the Mediterranean World. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH & Co KG. p. 57. ISBN 978-3525530832.
  6. ^ Harrison, S. J. (2012). The Cambridge Companion to Horace. Cam Press. pp. 154, 168. ISBN 978-0-521-83002-7.
  7. ^ Jacks, Lorra (February 17, 2013). "The 5 Most Frequently Misused Proverbs". Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  8. ^ "De rosis nascentibus" Archived 2007-08-11 at the Wayback Machine in a collection of the works of Virgil under the note Hoc carmen scripsit poeta ignotus (This poem was written by an unknown poet); Bibleotheca Augustana, Augsburg University of Applied Sciences
  9. ^ "Carpe Diem! How the philosophy of 'seize the day' was hijacked". iNews. 2017-04-18. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  10. ^ "YOLO | Definition of YOLO in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  11. ^ American Film Institute. "AFI's 100 YEARS...100 MOVIE QUOTES". Retrieved 2015-03-25.

External links

Aqua Timez

Aqua Timez (アクア タイムズ, Akua Taimuzu) was a Japanese rock band signed to Epic Records Japan.

Carpe Diem (Belinda Peregrín album)

Carpe Diem is the third studio album by Mexican pop singer Belinda, released on March 23, 2010 through Capitol Latin. The album is primarily electropop music, a departure from the rock pop sound of her previous albums. The album debuted on the Billboard Top Latin Albums at number 12, number 3 in the Latin pop albums and number 21 on the Top Heatseekers Album. In Mexico, entered at No. 7 and No. 5 in the category in Spanish.On March 25, two days after its release, Carpe Diem was certified gold with the help of Belinda offering an autograph session in Mexico City, more than 30,000 copies were sold. The name of the album "Carpe Diem" comes from the Latin phrase that translates literally to "Long live the day" or "Seize the day", coined by the Roman poet Horace. The phrase was adopted by Belinda who was inspired by the movie Dead Poets Society. Carpe Diem contains, as described by the singer herself, a much more happier upbeat sound with positive lyrics as opposed to her previous album Utopía that had a darker more personal tone to it.Among the producers is the Mexican Golden Baqueiro, who produced the theme "Sal de mi Piel" in Los Angeles, also was attended by Jimmy Harry, who produced the theme "Egoista", and previously had worked on her previous album Utopía. The album also features production by French artist Arno Elias, who produced the theme "Amor Transgénico" as well as the participation of the Spanish Carlos Jean. In addition, Belinda composed most of the material as well as became much involved for the image of the album along with her father who was also the executive producer of the album.

Carpe Diem (Heavenly album)

Carpe Diem is the fifth full-length album by French power metal band Heavenly. It was released on December 18, 2009, via AFM Records.

Carpe Diem (Karyn White album)

Carpe Diem is Karyn White's fourth album, released in 2012, and is the first album she has released in seventeen years. Notable songs on the album include the lead single, "Sista Sista", and a cover of Cyndi Lauper's hit song "True Colors".

Carpe Diem (Nightmare album)

Carpe Diem is Nightmare's tenth full-length studio album. As with all of their recent album and single releases, it came in three different versions, each with different artwork. The two limited editions (Types A & B), each come with different DVD tracks while the standard edition (Type C) came with one extra song. The album peaked #7 in the Oricon charts.

Carpe Diem (Will Haven album)

Carpe Diem is the third studio album by noise metal band Will Haven, released in 2001 by Music For Nations and Revelation Records.

Carpe Diem (drink)

Carpe Diem is a range of energy and 'functional' soft beverages distributed in the United Kingdom and other European countries by Red Bull. They were launched by the founder of Red Bull into an upscale and health conscious drinks marketplace, being first stocked by stores such as Selfridges before being distributed to mainstream stores such as Tesco. These drinks are no longer available in Ireland or the UK.

Carpe Diem String Quartet

The Carpe Diem String Quartet was founded in 2005 and is a classical string quartet based in Columbus, Ohio. The quartet's repertoire ranges from classical to contemporary chamber music. They regularly perform the works of contemporaries like Osvaldo Golijov, Gunther Schuller, Bruce Wolosoff, and Korine Fujiwara, as well as the works of classical composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn, Joseph Haydn and countless others. A few of the outstanding artists with whom the quartet has played include Yo-Yo Ma, Peter Soave, and Richard Stoltzman.

Carpe Diem Tour

The Carpe Diem Tour was a headlining concert tour by American recording artist Chris Brown, in support of his fifth studio album Fortune. The tour included shows in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Trinidad. It began on November 14, 2012 in Denmark and ended on December 27, 2012 in Trinidad.

Carpe Diem e-Learning Community

Carpe Diem e-Learning Community is a charter school for grades 6–12 in Yuma, Arizona.

The school is unique, since students do all their work on computers. The school has their own website where students can listen to lectures from the teachers at the headquarters of the school and do their work at their own pace, achieving credits when the work is completed. The school maintains a traditional physical campus, however. Sometime in the 2015-2016 school year, the school was renamed Desert View Middle and High School. The current building is located at 3777 W. 22nd Lane, Yuma, AZ 85364.

Carpe Diem – The Flower Kings Live in USA

Carpe Diem — Live in USA 2006 is an official bootleg by the Swedish progressive rock band The Flower Kings. It is The Flower Kings' performance at Whittier in California on October 16, 2006, plus a bonus track from their show at Quebec City.

It was released through Roine Stolt's own label, Foxtrot Records.

Carpe diem (Lara Fabian album)

Carpe diem is Lara Fabian's second French album released in 1994.

The album sold more than 250,000 copies.

Carpe diem (disambiguation)

Carpe diem is a Latin phrase, usually translated "Seize the day".

Carpe diem may also refer to:

Carpe Diem (drink), a range of soft beverages distributed in Europe by Red Bull

The Carpe Diem Trust, a UK-based charitable trust

Carpe Diem, a novel from the "Agent of Change" sequence in the Liaden universe series


"Egoísta" (English: "Selfish") is a song by Spanish-born Mexican actress and singer Belinda, released as the lead single from album Carpe Diem on February 8, 2010 to radio stations, and digitally on February 23, 2010. The song features Cuban rapper Pitbull. The song was originally recorded in Spanish, but later was re-released in English as well. Also a music video was filmed for this version.


In2It (Hangul: 인투잇; stylized as IN2IT) is a South Korean boy group consisting of seven members, Yoo Ji-ahn, Jung Yeon-tae, Hwang In-ho, Han Hyun-uk, Lee In-pyo, Kim Sung-hyun and Isaac Voo, who previously participated in Mnet's 2016 survival show Boys24. Originally an eight-member boygroup, they debuted on October 26, 2017 with Carpe Diem and the lead single, "Amazing". Kim Jin-sub left the group on March 2018 for health reasons.The group name, In2It, gives a direct meaning "Intuit" as well the phrase "In to it" which bring together the meaning "the boys will make fans fall into their intuitive charms".

Josh James (singer)

Josh James Dubovie (; born 27 November 1990) is a British singer. Dubovie is most notable for having represented the UK at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, held in Oslo, Norway, in May 2010, after winning the UK national selection competition with "That Sounds Good to Me", a song by Mike Stock, Pete Waterman and Steve Crosby. He finished last.

Reload (Metallica album)

Reload is the seventh studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on November 18, 1997 by Elektra Records. The album is a follow-up to Load, released the previous year, and Metallica's last studio album to feature bassist Jason Newsted. Reload debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 436,000 copies in its first week. It was certified 3× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipping three million copies in the United States.

Tempus fugit

Tempus fugit is a Latin phrase, usually translated into English as "time flies". The expression comes from line 284 of book 3 of Virgil's Georgics, where it appears as fugit inreparabile tempus: "it escapes, irretrievable time". The phrase is used in both its Latin and English forms as a proverb that "time's a-wasting". Tempus fugit, however, is typically employed as an admonition against sloth and procrastination (cf. carpe diem) rather than a motto in favor of licentiousness (cf. "gather ye rosebuds while ye may"); the English form is often merely descriptive: "time flies like the wind", "time flies when you're having fun".

The phrase's full appearance in the Georgics is:

The phrase is a common motto, particularly on sundials and clocks.

Tour Carpe Diem

The Tour Carpe Diem is a 162-metre (531 ft) tall skyscraper in the La Défense business district, near Paris in France.

The first stone was laid early 2011 by the main contractor BESIX and Spie Batignolles. Completed in 2013, it is located in the municipality of Courbevoie and is used for offices.

Death and mortality in art
Key concepts
Measurement and
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  • Mythology
Philosophy of time
Human experience
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