Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Great Reading



Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, 1952.

My mother used to read this poem out loud to me when I was a child. I hope you enjoyed reading it and I highly recommend the book, The Desiderata of Happiness by Max Ehrmann for your reading pleasure.

Have a great day everyone!


N Posted by Rain at 2/13/2007 02:25:00 AM


  • Anonymous Rav`N posted at 5:09 PM  
    Beautiful poem. it certainly has a lot to teach us. so much truth is all the advice it gives, now if only it were that easy to follow said advice. All we can do is try though.
  • Blogger Michael Manning posted at 6:41 PM  
    Glad to have come across this on your site, as it has been a long, long time since I read it. Yet, it holds up well!!
  • Blogger TECH posted at 2:04 PM  
  • Blogger Brian posted at 3:04 PM  
    Very nice poem...it touches me.

    Happy Valentine's Day dawling!
  • Blogger MXI posted at 3:35 PM  
    I have loved this poem for years, but forgot all about till I read it here! Thanks!
  • Blogger Serena Joy posted at 3:42 PM  
    Hello, Rain. I've been meaning to stop by and say hi since Hale McKay first mentioned your site. And what a great site this is! I haven't seen "Desiderata" in a long time, so it was a pleasure to get to read it again here.

    Happy Valentine's Day.
  • Blogger cube posted at 7:25 PM  
    I feel calmed just reading it again. Thanks for reminding me :-)
  • Blogger Tisha! posted at 4:43 AM  
    wisdom to live by! thanks for sharing that lovely poem!
  • Blogger The Fat Lady Sings posted at 11:26 PM  
    Honey - I am a child of the 70's! I had a black-light poster of that poem on my wall when I was in high school. It's beautiful - and it was my generations touchstone; our mantra, if you will. Of course - we also believed in the alternate version of the 23rd psalm: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for I am the baddest motherfucker in the goddamn valley." What can I say – we were a schizophrenic lot!
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