Carpe diem is a Latin phrase that means ‘snatch the day’. The phrase occurs in Horace’s Odes (1, xi):
Wiley Dum loquimur, fugerit invida
Aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.
Literally translated as “pluck the day, place little trust in tomorrow” or “gather in today’s harvest, place little trust in tomorrow.” In short, it means ‘Enjoy yourself while you can’. It’s about experiencing the fullness of what’s around us while it’s still here, not living extravagantly or blowing up our lives for better ones. Horace elaborates on the motif in Odes III, xxix. It is found in Greek as well as Latin poetry, recurs frequently in many works of literature, and obviously arises from the realization of the brevity of life and the inevitability of death. It might be assessed as the motto of epicureanism ( did not believe in the afterlife or anything supernatural). This phrase is used for saying that people should enjoy the pleasures of the present moment rather than worrying about the future.
The Cavalier poets were among the last to elaborate the idea (for example, Robert Herrick’s poem “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” begins: ‘Gather ye Rose-buds, while ye may’), but it has never entirely lost its hold on the poet’s imagination – as is evident in the work, for instance, of Andrew Marvell’s To His Coy Mistress, or of W.B.Yeats.