Posted in Poetry, plays, etc., Quotation

Desiderata

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.[…]

This is the first line from Desiderata, written in 1927 by American writer Max Ehrmann. I first encountered it in the recording by US talk show host Les Crane. It got to number 6 in 1971. I still recall listening to it by candlelight: we had no power due to several weeks of power cuts due to strike action. It went on to become something of a cult, even Mr Spock got in on the act.

I still love it. Especially the line:

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit :)

Copyright?

There remains some confusion over whether it is or indeed ever was in copyright. I will ‘exercise caution’ as it advises and use only the opening lines. The full text is here.

Author:

"I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind, Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng" — Earnest Dowson, 1867 –1900 Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae sub Regno Cynarae (1896) (Excerpt)
The lovely image of an owl is courtesy of Michael Gäbler [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. The coffee image is public domain

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