Friday, February 20, 2015

Desiderata | Max Ehrmann

via
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.
Desiderata, by Max Ehrmann

(Desiderata are, technically, things considered necessary or highly desirable or something lacked and wanted. via)


This poem and If, by Kipling always go together in my mind. Every time I read either one of them there always seems to be a new line that stands out to me as something I can relate to or simply would do well to remember. Right now that line's this: If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

I've practically memorized this poem because I listen to poetry while I do math (it helps me concentrate) and it's one of the poems on my playlist; the version I listen to is read by Tom Hiddleston, which you can find here. His voice is gold. 

Do you have a favorite line?

24 comments:

  1. "No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should" & "you are a child of the universe" are lines that stand out for me. Hearing them in Loki's voice makes me smile. :)

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    1. He reads it so well. :)
      Thanks for commenting, Jo!

      xox

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  2. Beautiful poem. I like the last lines best: "With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

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    1. I'm glad you like it. Those are some of my favorite lines too. ♥

      xx

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  3. "But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself."

    -Max

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    1. Ooo, I love those lines! I've heard them hundreds of times but they still give me chills. :)

      xx

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

    This is such a beautiful poem Sarah! I don't blame you for memorizing it--I want to, too now!
    Listening to poetry while doing math? That sounds so lovely..I think I'll have to start!

    Thank you so much for sharing! xx

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    1. I'm so glad you like it, MJ. ♥ haha Yep, I love listening to poetry while I do math. When I don't listen to anything I'm so tempted to start day dreaming and get distracted, and music doesn't work well, but poetry is perfect. :) I hope you try it, it really is lovely.

      xox

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  5. Beautiful! This stanza keeps me grounded and keeps me going everyday:

    "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."

    xoxo Morning

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    1. I'm glad you like it too. :)

      xox

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  6. This poem is so gorgeous! Thank you for sharing it. I cannot decide on just one part that I like--it is all so inspiring!

    ~ S. F.

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    1. I know, it's so chock full of ideas and advice; I love that there's something new to notice every time I read or hear it. Thanks for commenting, S.F., your comments always make me happy. :)

      xx

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  7. OMG I could listen to poems if read by Tom Hiddleston! Thank you for the link! <3

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    1. You're quite welcome. :) I know, I could listen to him reading it all day.

      xx

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  8. Absolutely beautiful poem <3

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  9. This is such a beautiful poem! I love all of it ♥
    Amy xx

    Perfect Imperfections

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    1. I'm so glad you like it!

      xx

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  10. absolutely terrific.

    my favorite line:

    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

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    1. I love that line too. ♥

      xx

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  11. Replies
    1. I'm glad you like it, it was hard to choose a picture to go with this poem.

      xx

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  12. this is my favorite piece of the written word. ever. i have many lines of it memorized as well. it's fantastic. there was a time of my life i read it every single morning. i should start doing that again. thank you for sharing this.

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    1. That sounds like a nice way to start the day, maybe I'll try that too. :) I love this poem, it's got a lot of good in it.

      xx

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