Saturday, February 02, 2008

Silent Poetry Reading

In honor of the third annual Bloggers (Silent) Poetry Reading, I will post my favorite poem. I was introduced to this poem in college by my psycho roommate that moved out halfway through our lease term, but I really do love it despite who introduced the poem to me.

I have it on a plaque in my bathroom that I got in the Muir Woods gift shop. Fitting I suppose to get a lasting reminder of my favorite poem in my most favorite place to be.

I like to think that this is how I conduct myself in the world. I think I do an okay job at it.

Anyways, here is my poem:


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, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.


Cindy/Snid said...

I can NOT believe you picked that poem! My mom always had a copy of that poem hanging on the wall in our house when I was growing up. Thank you for reminding me of it. It is a very special poem to me!!

Pauline said...

Thanks for posting that. I haven't read it in ages!