posted by Laurie Ryan

I was writing a guest blog to post over at a blog called Four Foxes One Hound  (where I’m at tomorrow) and it got me thinking about poetry. I remembered my all-time favorite poem and thought I’d share it with you all. It’s what made me think I was a flower-child born just a few years too late. Maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s long, so I’ll keep this short. Have a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow, everyone! Don’t get TOO stuffed.  🙂


(written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920’s)

Go placidly amid the noise and the 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 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.


16 responses to “Desiderata

  1. Ah, Laurie … beautiful. Thanks for sharing this poem with us. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow, and a lovely day preparing for it today!

    • Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Marion. I hope you are spending it with family or friends. We’re driving to celebrate with good friends and our godchildren this year. Hopefully, the Pacific Northwest rainy season will be kind to us as it’s a 3 hour drive.

  2. One of my all time favorites – thank you for posting it and reminding how beautiful this life is. Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

  3. I remember hearing this on the radio back in 1971 or 72. Don’t recall whose voice read it … and don’t remember anything about the musical background.
    Everything’s loaded over at Four Foxes One Hound. Hope you bring along LOTS of friends tomorrow.

  4. Thanks for sharing, I hadn’t read it before but it’s one to keep handy. Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. Love the Desiderata and have a copy of this on the wall in our hallway. So very beautiful.

  6. Valerie J. Patterson

    I believe I’ve read this before, but not perhaps all of it. I enjoyed reading it tonight, and it’s all words of wisdom. Thank you for posting it.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! 😛

  7. You’re welcome. And a very happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, also. 🙂

  8. AMEN, Lurie! Happy Thanksgiving to you and to all!


  9. Sorry I misspelled your name, Laurie! 😉


  10. Lovely. Late to the viewing of blogs this week and last. Life.

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