A Poem Worth Sharing – Desiderata

Lake Michigan Tree

Sometimes a poem just hits you hard and you can’t stop going back to it. I find myself reading and re-reading this poem on days where I’m feeling a bit lost. I even carry a copy of it around in my planner.

It’s simple and warm and happy – everything you need in a poem when you’re in need of a pep talk. I originally found it here.

What poems or quotes do you find yourself returning to?


by Max Ehrmann, 1952

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.


5 thoughts on “A Poem Worth Sharing – Desiderata

  1. I love this! One of my all time favorite poetic things to ground me when I’m feeling lost is this:

    The world is heavy
    But your bones
    (Just a cubic inch)
    Can hold 19,000 lbs

    Ounce for ounce
    They are stronger
    Than steel

    Atom for atom
    You are more precious
    Than diamond

    And stars have died
    So that you may live

    You need to remember
    these things when you
    Say that you are weak
    And worthless.

    It’s so simple and beautiful and, idk, grounding. 🙂 great posts lately! I am loving them!

    • Thanks Elise! Wow, that’s absolutely beautiful. Is there a source for this? I did a five second google search and couldn’t find an author.

      Just wonderful. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Pingback: Finding the Time | Minimal Millennial

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