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My all time favourite, have posted this before but make no apology.


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.

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Of course when I saw it, there was not yet an Internet. Now, it's possible that we learn the author and some of the history of the Desiderata. I still don't know what that means, or what language it is.




Written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s --

Not "Found in Old St. Paul's Church in 1692"


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence....


The full text of "Desiderata" is available here.


The Confused History of "Desiderata"


The author is Max Ehrmann, a poet and lawyer from Terre Haute, Indiana, who lived from 1872 to 1945. It has been reported that Desiderata was inspired by an urge that Ehrmann wrote about in his diary:


"I should like, if I could, to leave a humble gift -- a bit of chaste prose that had caught up some noble moods."


Around 1959, the Rev. Frederick Kates, the rector of St. Paul's Church in Baltimore, Maryland, used the poem in a collection of devotional materials he compiled for his congregation. (Some years earlier he had come across a copy of Desiderata.) At the top of the handout was the notation, "Old St. Paul's Church, Baltimore A.C. 1692." The church was founded in 1692. [1]


As the material was handed from one friend to another, the authorship became clouded. Copies with the "Old St. Paul's Church" notation were printed and distributed liberally in the years that followed. It is perhaps understandable that a later publisher would interpret this notation as meaning that the poem itself was found in Old St. Paul's Church, dated 1692. This notation no doubt added to the charm and historic appeal of the poem, despite the fact that the actual language in the poem suggests a more modern origin. The poem was popular prose for the "make peace, not war" movement of the 1960s.


When Adlai Stevenson died in 1965, a guest in his home found a copy of Desiderata near his bedside and discovered that Stevenson had planned to use it in his Christmas cards. The publicity that followed gave widespread fame to the poem as well as the mistaken relationship to St. Paul's Church. [1]


As of 1977, the rector of St. Paul's Church was not amused by the confusion. Having dealt with the confusion "40 times a week for 15 years," he was sick of it. [1]


This misinterpretation has only added to the confusion concerning whether or not the poem is in the public domain.

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I'll assume it is Latin, and the original meaning was a list of books a library or collector is seeking.


Noun: desideratum (desiderata) di`sidu'reytum


1. Something desired as a necessity

"the desiderata for a vacation are time and money"


Derived forms: desiderata


Type of: essential, necessary, necessity, requirement, requisite


Encyclopedia: Desideratum

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  • 8 months later...

Hi Jerry, there is or was some confusion around who could or should claim to have written it etc, can't remember really.


It was on the wall at home when I was a child and I remember being taught it at a very early age and I understood it and appreciated it very much.

I have a little copy of my own now that needs a little frame. I've read it from time to time when things haven't quite been going to plan as it were and it can be quite though provoking and even reassuring, maybe it's the actual sitting a pausing for a moment to read it that makes the difference but either way I love it and would always want a copy nearby.

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