John Keating: There's a time for daring and there's a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for.
John Keating: Mr. Meeks, time to inherit the earth.
John Keating: I was the intellectual equivalent of a 98-pound weakling! I would go to the beach and people would kick copies of Byron in my face!
John Keating: This is a battle, a war, and the casualties could be your hearts and souls.
John Keating: Sucking the marrow out of life doesn't mean choking on the bone.
John Keating: Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation." Don't be resigned to that. Break out!
John Keating: O Captain, my Captain. Who knows where that comes from? Anybody? Not a clue? It's from a poem by Walt Whitman about Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Now in this class you can either call me Mr. Keating, or if you're slightly more daring, O Captain my Captain.
John Keating: No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.
John Keating: We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life! Of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... Of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?