What is Your Verse?

There is a commercial for Apple’s I-Pad that has been airing during the Olympics.  It is a beautiful ad and it ends with:

“The powerful poem of life goes on, and you can contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

It turns out that this quote is from a poem by Walt Whitman:

O Me! O Life!

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,

Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.


That get’s one thinking…wow, what is my verse? (What is the meaning of life?)

Is it my work? — I don’t think so as my work isn’t the type of thing that will have any lasting effects on the world.  Is the love and care shown to family, friends, colleagues and even strangers?



I think my contribution to this life (my verse) is my wonderful son and daughter who are now grown and out in the world working on their own verses.


I’d love to hear you thoughts on your “verse” in this play of life.



  1. All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players:
    They have their exits and their entrances;
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
    Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
    And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
    And shining morning face, creeping like snail
    Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
    Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
    Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
    Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
    Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
    Seeking the bubble reputation
    Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
    In fair round belly with good capon lined,
    With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
    Full of wise saws and modern instances;
    And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
    Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
    With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
    His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
    For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
    Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
    And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
    That ends this strange eventful history,
    Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
    Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

    Hard for me to improve upon old Bill !

  2. Aw, that does get you to thinking Grace. Mine would be “Time is fleeting, soon to be gone, live life now, live it well”. I know it’s not brilliant but it’s mine. 🙂

    • Susan, that is beautiful. You are literally contributing a verse! I was reading it more figuratively, but now I am going to work on some prose…

  3. I’m not a poet by any means…but I think it might go something like.

    Know thyself well…embrace the good, forgive the ill disciplined. Go forward with authenticity, yet remember that self isn’t always empirical…there is such a thing as the greater good. Find the balance to those two things, and it will have been a life well lived.

  4. I LOVE Walt Whitman. 🙂

    This is my verse, and it has even more meaning because this is my home, and I’ve experience what he describes on this same river:

    “Like many fly fishermen in western Montana where the summer days are almost Arctic in length, I often do not start fishing until the cool of the evening. Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise.
    Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
    I am haunted by waters.”
    ― Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

  5. Grace in this I lack originality, but the first thing that popped into my head is that famous line from Dylan Thomas. I can’t stand the idea of not living life to it’s fullest.

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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