R.I.P. Robin Williams

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?

Fortune

Robin Williams died Monday, an apparent suicide, at age 63.

He started his career doing stand-up, got his big break on ABC’s Mork & Mindy, was best known for his work in Hollywood (Good Morning, Vietnam,Dead Poets Society,Hook,Aladdin,Mrs. Doubtfire and The Birdcage), won an Academy Award for Good Will Hunting, and also took home two Emmys, four Golden Globes and five Grammys.

But the last time we heard his voice was in Apple’s “Your Verse” iPad ads, reading Walt Whitman to his students in a clip from Dead Poets Society.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple [fortune-stock symbol=”AAPL”] coverage at fortune.com/ped or subscribe via his RSS feed.

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