Desiderata Poem by Max Ehrmann


Rating: 4.9

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.

Monday, March 23, 2015
Topic(s) of this poem: inspiration
Poster by:
Mariann 31 December 2018

Having this poem read by a bot is the ultimate in irony

21 2 Reply
johnjohn 26 February 2018

Words to live by (Report)

22 0 Reply
Cindy hawkins 25 February 2018

Words to live by

22 0 Reply
Humphrey Mwamburi 08 February 2018

such a blessed and talented poet. Am really inspired.

21 0 Reply
Cindy hawkins 25 February 2018

Words to live by

21 0 Reply
Shaun Cronick 09 October 2020

This will always be the poem I retreat to, to seek hope and solace from. It's my moral stronghold, my last poetry resting place, my rock. It recharges my depleted lifeforce batteries and always nourishes and instils in me hope. It is simply magnificent. Thank you Max Ehrmann.

4 0 Reply
Shaun Cronick 08 August 2020

The Absolute and perfect game plan for life poem. What more is there to possibly say, except thank you Max Ehrmann and sleep well sir. Sleep well.

10 0 Reply
Shaun Cronick 15 January 2020

If there was no Lord's Prayer in our schools, then Max Ehrmann's beautiful inspiring 1920's poem should be there in its place. A one of its kind unique poem. I thank you so much Max Ehrmann.

24 0 Reply

It is good advice for life especially in dark times. It helps lightening up your Soul and helps you find your middle. My parents gave me this because i was having a bad time. it helped and i will Show this to my Children and hope it will help them as much as it helped me. I personnaly think this is one of the best works i've ever read. It deserves credit.

22 1 Reply
CJMudd 14 June 2019

That's good for the soul..

22 1 Reply
Max Ehrmann

Max Ehrmann

Indianapolis, Uinted States
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