desiderata written in calligraphy and superiposed on a photo from NASA

Famous Poem Desiderata

Desiderata, the poem that begins with the words, "Go placidly amid the noise and the haste" has because a famous poem because it has meaning for so many people. The poem was written in 1927 - wow, almost 100 years ago, but it still has such wonderful a great message for people live now. It's both an inspirational poem as well as a motivational one at the same time! Max Ehrmann, the author was very prescient in his observations that have lasted for such a long time!

Meaning of Desiderata

Did you ever wonder about the meaning of the word Desiderata? It means "things to be desired." I think that means that for each of us, if we could live our lives with the instructions in this epic poem, we would be pretty happy. 

The trick is being able to do it! 

Desiderata, the famous poem of Max Ehrmann written in calligraphy on parchment background with calligraphic flourishes as decoration
First Anniversary gift, personalized version of Desiderata written in calligraphy & computer font superimposed on wedding photo

Desiderata Revisited

A father rewrote parts of Desiderata as a first anniversary wedding gift for this lovely couple. 

That's actually a great way to write your own original poems by basing them on another work that you like but needs a bit of revision to make it yours! 

The actual text of 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.

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.

Famous poem Desiderata, by Max Ehrmann written in calligraphy with the background of a light up NYCity and the Brooklyn bridge

Desiderata as a Gift

You might be wondering what can make a great gift for a person starting out in a new part of their lives. It can be a graduation gift, as in the example above. A medical student graduated from school in NY City. That's why his mother chose this background, because he was about to start his life as a doctor in New York.

But you might use the poem as a gift for a new graduate about to embark on his life. Desiderata is also a good poem for someone starting a new career, moving to a new area (a housewarming gift?).

Getting a Custom Print of Desiderata Framed

Because the handwritten calligraphy has already been completed, purchasing a custom print with your choice of background, and having it personalized to whoever you are gifting is available at a lower cost that getting a new original! But the great thing is it's still going to be a one of a kind! It's a large size, but can be reduced in size so the cost of the print/frame is lower as well. You see that they are available as either a portrait layout or a landscape- so keep that in mind.  Do check out the various ways to have Desiderata printed so it arrives ready to display.

Contact me to discuss the background and how you want it printed. We'll come up with a great design for you!