Carpe Diem (255 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • Editors
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Share on Facebook Tweet Report an Error
  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.


A poem advising someone to “Seize the day”. Usually the genre is addressed by a man to a young woman who is urged to stop prevaricating in sexual or emotional matters. Marvel’s “To his Coy Mistress” is a famous example:

Had we but world enough, and time,
his coyness Lady were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges side
Should’st rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood;
And you should if you please refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster then empires, and more slow.
An hundred years should go …

We have have no profile for this entry. If you are a qualified scholar and you wish to write for The Literary Encyclopedia, please click here to contact us.

Editors. "Carpe Diem". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001
[, accessed 23 October 2017.]

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here.