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Last words the great poets


Last words

Verse, fame and beauty are intense indeed
But death intenser - death is life's high meed.

John Keats

Never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee.

John Donne

Olavo Bilac last words

Brazilian poet Olavo Bilac 28 December 1918: "Give me coffee, I'm going to write".

Jean Cocteau last words

French poet and novelist Jean Cocteau 11 October 1963: "Since the day of my birth, my death began its walk. It is walking towards me, without hurrying".

Philip Larkin last words

British poet Philip Larkin 2 December 1985: "I am going to the inevitable".

Fernando Pessoa last words

Portuguese poet and writer Fernando Pessoa 30 November 1935: "I know not what tomorrow will bring".

Virgil last words

Roman Poet Virgil 21 September 19 BCE: "Mantua bore me, Calabria snatched me away, now Naples holds me; I sang of pastures, fields, and kings".

Heinrich Heine last words

Heinrich Heine 17 January 1856: "God will forgive me. It is his profession".

Emily Dickinson last words

Emily Dickinson 15 May 1886, who found poetry in the most common occurrences, said just before dying, "Let us go in; the fog is rising".

Johann Goethe last words

Johann Goethe 22 March 1832: "More light". It is also reported that "Come my little one, and give me your hand" were the last words he declared to his daughter-in-law Ottilie.

Ryonen last words

The Buddhist nun known as Ryonen was a granddaughter of the famous Japanese warrior Shingen. Her poetical genius and alluring beauty were such that at seventeen she was serving the empress as one of the ladies ofthe court. Now the empress died a sudden death and Ryonen underwent a profound spiritual ex¬perience: she became acutely aware of the passing nature of all things. That was when she made up her mind to study Zen. Ryonen was so lovely that no Zen Master would accept her as a pupil lest she tempt the other monks; she therefore disfigured her face with a red-hot iron. Master Hakuo then accepted her as a disciple.

When she knew her time had come to depart this world she wrote another poem:

Ask no more

Sixty-six times have these eyes beheld
the loveliness of Autumn...
Ask no more.
Only listen to the sound of the pines
when no wind stirs.

From Dead Poets Society - "They believe they're destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. 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".

Dead Poets Society - Carpe diem

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Author - Gatsby 

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