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April 9, 2011 / Donna


Sometimes we have to stop, breathe, and collect ourselves.  Time seems to be going faster now, so we have to be ever aware of taking a moment or two to just breathe.  And when life seems to be getting ahead of you this is the time to stop and read this poem.
red poppys

Written back around 1920’s by Max Erhmann,the philosophy in this now famous poem holds true (maybe even more so today)  than back in the 20’s when he first wrote it.


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, 
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 to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or 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 in your soul.

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

For me it is as if all the important parts of my books that I have highlighted were put together into a poem. ”You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.”  ” keep peace in your soul.”……..
About the Author:

The Desiderata poem was originally written by Max Ehrmann. It was used by Rev Frederick Kates of St Paul´s Church in Baltimore in devotional materials he compiled for his congregation. On top of this material he had written “Old St paul´s Church, Baltimore A.C. 1692”. The year was the foundation year of the church. This probably made people think the Desiderata poem was found in the church and written in 1692.A court ruling was that Ehrmann had forfeited his right to have the copyright of this poem protected by giving the permission to use the work gratuitously. Copies of the poem appeared everywhere and it was extremely popular in the 60s and 70s.

Later court cases have ruled in favor of copyright. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case. So there seems to be confusion about the copyright of this beautiful poem.


When researching about the author I came across no less than four (4) different versions of what happened at St. Paul’s Church. So if you  are going to question me about it please have some backup material to support you .  I will gladly change it.




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