How to Write a Carpe Diem Poem

A carpe diem poem is a special type of poetry that has been popular in classical literature as well as in modern literature.  Therefore, it is important to know how to write a carpe diem poem. This article explains,

1. What is a Carpe Diem Poem

2. Examples of Carpe Diem Poems

3. How to Write a Carpe Diem Poem 

What is a Carpe Diem Poem

The Latin phrase carpe diem first appeared in an ode of Horace, “carpe diem quam minimum credula poster”, which can be translated as pluck the day, trusting as little as possible in the next one.” In contemporary usage, this phrase is translated as “seize the day”.  This phrase reflects the sentiment that one should enjoy the present to the fullest, without worrying about the future because time passes quickly and there is no way of knowing when they will meet their end. This literary theme is reflected in many poems and prose. Given below are some examples of carpe diem poems.

Examples of Carpe Diem Poems

“To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell

..Now therefore, while the youthful hue 

Sits on thy skin like morning dew, 

And while thy willing soul transpires 

At every pore with instant fires, 

Now let us sport us while we may, 

And now, like amorous birds of prey, 

Rather at once our time devour 

Than languish in his slow-chapped power…”

Translation of Horace’s Ode

“Don’t you keep asking, to know is forbidden, what end to you, what end to me

the gods may have assigned, Leuconoe, nor meddle with Babylonian

numbers.  How much better, whatever will be, to deal with it,

whether Juppiter grants us many more winters, or this is the last,

which weakens the Tyrrhenian Sea upon the exposed pumice.

Be sensible, strain the wine and restrain your long hopes within this

brief space; while we are talking, jealous time will have fled:

pluck the day, trusting in the next as little as possible.”

“To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time,” by Robert Herrick

“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, 

Old Time is still a-flying; 

And this same flower that smiles today 

Tomorrow will be dying…”How to Write a Carpe Diem Poem

How to Write a Carpe Diem Poem


The main feature of a Carpe Diem poem is its content and theme. The style, structure, and language of the poem take a second place to the content. Therefore, your main focus should be on the message you want to convey from the poem.

The message of your poem should be “carpe diem” – seize the day or make the most out of your life. This type of poem should be inspirational, but without being overtly educational or preachy.

The conventional way of writing a carpe diem poem is writing about the inevitability of death, impermanence of everything and stress on enjoying the life at present. But don’t make your poem gloomy and dull just because you are talking about the impermanence; try to make the poem inspirational.


There is no standard way to write a carpe diem poem. You can use any rhyme scheme, meter; the easiest way to write it is to use a free verse style.

Tips to Write a Carpe Diem Poem

  • The main focus should be on the content or message of the poem – seize the day.
  • The poem can have any rhyme scheme or meter.
  • Try to make the poem as inspirational as possible.

Image Courtesy: 

“Carpe Diem” by r  via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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