September 9, 2006 at 6:51 pm 4 comments

Max Ehrmann

Listen (to Sudha read)

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.

Max Ehrmann Copyright 1927

Welcome Sudha!

A clear and unpretentious poem, whose title literally translates to – Things to be Desired. A fatalist look at life accompanied by some of the simplest pieces of advice on how to make the best out of the life you have. No grand claims that the world or your life is perfect, just a gentle reminder that even amidst this sham, drudgery and broken dreams, there is still beauty in this world.

PS: And yes, how can one forget the parody – Deteriorata by the National Lampoon. :)

You are a fluke
Of the universe.
You have no right to be here.
And whether you can hear it or not
The universe is laughing behind your back.


Entry filed under: Black Mamba, English, Max Ehrmann, Sudha.

The Wolf On the Metro

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. J. Alfred Prufrock  |  September 10, 2006 at 6:31 am

    Thank you so much. I was originally mailed this as “an old inscription in a Baltimore church”. Then I lost it.

    So now I have both the full text and the origin. Grazie.


  • 2. saidz  |  September 4, 2009 at 7:08 am

    hi ang ganda naman ng desiderita speech naka2 inspir
    e sa mga tao…………………..

  • 3. decemberworld  |  October 5, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I love this poem

  • 4. sarah shien enkiwe  |  June 19, 2013 at 1:46 am

    Im very impress…i dont know wat is desiderata but my big brother told me ol about..many soldier inspired of this..i lke it..Godblesss bro..ur rigth as olways…i salute u.


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