Judith Viorst

(February 2, 1931)

The Pleasures Of Ordinary Life - Poem by Judith Viorst

I've had my share of necessary losses,
Of dreams I know no longer can come true.
I'm done now with the whys and the becauses.
It's time to make things good, not just make do.
It's time to stop complaining and pursue
The pleasures of an ordinary life.

I used to rail against my compromises.
I yearned for the wild music, the swift race.
But happiness arrived in new disguises:
Sun lighting a child's hair. A friend's embrace.
Slow dancing in a safe and quiet place.
The pleasures of an ordinary life.

I'll have no trumpets, triumphs, trails of glory.
It seems the woman I've turned out to be
Is not the heroine of some grand story.
But I have learned to find the poetry
In what my hands can touch, my eyes can see.
The pleasures of an ordinary life.

Young fantasies of magic and of mystery
Are over. But they really can't compete
With all we've built together: A long history.
Connections that help render us complete.
Ties that hold and heal us. And the sweet,
Sweet pleasures of an ordinary life.


Comments about The Pleasures Of Ordinary Life by Judith Viorst

  • Susan Williams (6/28/2018 2:39:00 PM)


    The Pleasures Of Ordinary Life are indeed sweet and so very satisfying and involved with others not just self! Very truthful poem (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Anil Kumar Panda (6/28/2018 10:47:00 AM)


    I'll have no trumpets, triumphs, trails of glory.
    It seems the woman I've turned out to be
    Is not the heroine of some grand story.
    But I have learned to find the poetry
    In what my hands can touch, my eyes can see.
    The pleasures of an ordinary life.'.....Often while pursuing great things in life we miss the pleasure in ordinary life offers. A great write with sweet flow. Very inspiring and meaningful. Congrats.
    (Report) Reply

  • Khairul Ahsan (6/28/2018 10:03:00 AM)


    In our prime time, we compete so hard with each other for fame and glory that we hardly can see the 'pleasures of an ordinary life'. This poem has inspired me and augmented my faith that plain and simple living is the best policy.
    Congratulations to poet Judith Viorst for this being selected the 'Modern Poem of the Day'!
    (Report) Reply

  • Savita Tyagi (6/28/2018 9:53:00 AM)


    Beautiful poem. Pleasures of ordinary life are wonderful and satisfactory. We need to recognize the ills of too much competition. Love the lines of connectivity.....this is the link that we always have to keep strong. Congratulations and thank you for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Glen Kappy (6/28/2018 7:24:00 AM)


    i resonate with this celebration (not loud but steady and sure) of a life built with a lasting partner. this is what we do in such a life together—build a life, accumulate memories that warm and bind us. and who knows, thinking of eternity, what really will be lasting. fame in one place can be entirely unknown across the globe, and reputation and recognition can fade like last week's news. -gk (Report) Reply

  • Ahmed Kayes (6/28/2018 7:04:00 AM)


    What a beautiful poetry of a beautiful life. (Report) Reply

  • Ruta Mohapatra (6/28/2018 2:44:00 AM)


    How nicely life has been summed up! (Report) Reply

  • Mahtab Bangalee (6/28/2018 2:05:00 AM)


    Yeah rightly she said-

    there was no trumpet, no triumph or no bird to sing a song for her but the poetry, the poetic diction, the words of unknown soul through her pure ink of pen now glorifies her stupendously
    (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (6/28/2018 1:40:00 AM)


    Such a great write by Judith Viorst👍👍👍 (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (6/28/2018 1:23:00 AM)


    Experience of life has been astutely depicted. A beautiful poem shared. Thanks and congratulations for being selected this poem as the poem of the day. (Report) Reply

  • Jayatissa K. Liyanage (6/28/2018 1:20:00 AM)


    Realizing the limits of what one can do in life and stop complaining shows one's maturity. This is great thinking. Thanks for sharing. X (Report) Reply

  • Lungelo S Mbuyazi (6/28/2018 1:16:00 AM)


    Wonderfully written, with clear images drawn...10 (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (6/28/2018 1:07:00 AM)


    A fine write. Enjoyed the repetition. (Report) Reply

  • Britte Ninad (6/28/2018 12:52:00 AM)


    excellent lines on herself-
    I'll have no trumpets, triumphs, trails of glory.
    It seems the woman I've turned out to be
    Is not the heroine of some grand story.
    But I have learned to find the poetry

    yeah right - the poetry glorified her greatly
    (Report) Reply

  • Petals Azureblue (6/28/2018 12:44:00 AM)


    A sweet reminder to stop struggling to attain more and start living with what we've been blessed with
    Judith Viorst, you poem is a treasure.
    (Report) Reply

  • (2/27/2018 9:56:00 AM)


    this pom is so relatable (Report) Reply

  • Feipeng Shang (10/31/2017 4:45:00 PM)


    An ordinary life you've got is full of music and magic :) (Report) Reply

  • Mohit Katyal (7/11/2017 1:46:00 AM)


    this one is really awesome.. and its soothing and inspiring (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (12/2/2016 6:43:00 AM)


    Such a wonderful inspiring poem......When we are fed up with questions and ridicule answers we write such a fantastic poetry. (Report) Reply

  • (11/28/2016 5:09:00 PM)


    (The Pleasures Of Ordinary Life by Judith Viorst.) **Really good. One can't go wrong in the pursuit of an ordinary life. (Report) Reply

Read all 23 comments »




Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: history, poetry, magic, happiness, music, woman, together, child, friend, hair, life, time, sun, children, dance, dream, women



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  9. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]