Monday, 22 August 2011

Inspirational Poems #1

With a definite nod to a recent blog entry by, I've decided to post a couple of poems that I have found inspirational. Number one on my list is Desiderata. This poem originated in the 1920's and I first came across it in my teens. It's stayed with me over the years, to be used like a lighthouse guiding me on the right path when I start to lose my way. I seem to remember someone having a hit song with it in the '70's but I could be imagining that. Anyway I've reproduced it below. Feel free to comment on this or let me know what poems have inspired you.

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 to 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 perennial as the grass.
Take kindly to 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 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.
Max Ehrmann c.1920

1 comment:

  1. PS I did a little research and found that it was indeed a hit for Les Crane. He took Desiderata to No8 in the Billboard Charts in 1971. At that stage I was only 3 so I'm surprised I remember it. It also went to No7 in the UK in 1972. If you REALLY want to hear it you'll find it on youtube but I'd recommend sticking with the poem.