I’ve looked at blank pages and wondered where to start; but this looks at it from the opposite perspective. As if a thought had come to the poet, and had been lost before they had time to write it down.
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 :)
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.
A lovely poem, by Francis Thompson (1859-1907) with ‘hunchèd camels’ and a ‘star-gathering’ sun. Here it is analysed in a thoughtful and informative piece from the Guardian newspaper.