I’ve heard this phrase before, and I’ve heard it again today. Which makes me wonder where does it come from, and what does it mean.
HotForWords JimmyNgu.com decides to investigate.
The phrase Carpe Diem, as most of us might know it, means “seize the day”. It is taken from a Latin poem by Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace – as widely known to the English-speaking world).
It basically tells you not to wait to do the things you want to do, and also don’t waste time because time flies and there’s no going back.
According to WikiPedia, the original poem was like this in 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.
– Odes 1.11 –
Which translate into :-
Leuconoe, don’t ask — it’s dangerous to know —
what end the gods will give me or you.
Don’t play with Babylonian fortune-telling either.
Better just deal with whatever comes your way.
Whether you’ll see several more winters or whether the last one
Jupiter gives you is the one even now pelting the rocks on the shore with the waves
of the Tyrrhenian sea — be smart, drink your wine.
Scale back your long hopes
to a short period. While we speak, time is envious and
is running away from us. Seize the day, trusting little in the future.
– Odes 1.11 –
The name Leuconoe in the poem refers to a female companion that Horace was giving his advice to.
However, some believed that Leuconoe was not the real name of the lady that Horace was talking to, as this Greek name pretty much translates to “empty head”. [source]
So Horace was actually talking to all the “empty heads” out there, about this very very very important message.
As I am too lazy to find out what Babylonian fortune-telling is all about, and I don’t give a shit what does Jupiter had to do with winters and the Tyrrhenian sea.
Lets just skip to the last part.
Now, if you take it literally what Horace said in the last few paragraphs. Horace actually told Leuconoe to drink wine and forget about the future, as time is flying and we should seize the day.
That’s like something you would’ve heard when a bunch of uncles drinking together.
“COooomee !!! YAM SENG !!! Forget about tomorrow, it’s too far away !!! We’re getting old oredi and dun have much time to enjoy !!! SEIZE THE DAY !!! Tonight no-drunk-no-go-home !!! YAM AHHhh ….”
So, my point of this whole post being, that we SHOULD ALL FOLLOW WHAT HORACE TOLD US TO DO.
We should not worry about work tomorrow, because there will always be work tomorrow.
We should not worry about money, because some people lose everything in a blink of an eye.
We should not worry about time, because time flies no matter what we do.
The only thing we SHOULD worry about, and that’s the ONLY thing to worry about.
Is this …
… whether we have enough booze to drink or not at the end of the day.
Because if we don’t drink, we cannot seize the day. No Carpe diem.
Because Horace said so … I rest my case …