“Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann

MaxEhrmannToday on Facebook my friend Lisa posted the poem “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann. I was unfamiliar with Ehrmann, but I have to admit, this poem spoke to me on a deep level. It seems that today was the exact day that I needed to read this poem. I was feeling very introspective this morning as I reflected upon my life, where I am, where I was, and what may be ahead. Before you continue reading my post, you may want to take a couple of minutes to read the poem online.

I truly have much to be grateful for in my life. In fact, when I take a moment and look around, I cannot help but feel blessed. In spite of that, I still find myself slipping into sadness sometimes. For this reason, the following lines resonated with me:

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

I am also reaching a point in my life where I have to admit that I am no longer young. Honestly, I feel OK with that, but it was still nice to receive the affirmation that I found in the poem.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

As much as I love deep, dark poetry, this poem was exactly what i needed to hear today. There is something almost magical when you come across a literary work at just the right time in your life that you connect with the writer on an almost spiritual level. Today I am grateful for having discovered this poet.



Filed under Literature

10 responses to ““Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann

  1. I just came across your blog and am thankful because yours are the words I need to hear today. Thank for the long-distance healing 🙂 Now I’m going to read Max Ehrmann’s poem online. Have a wonderful day. Michele

    • Stuff Jeff Reads

      Hi Michele. I didn’t think my day could get much better until I read your reply. I’m grateful and humbled that my post had a positive effect on you and made your day better. What more could one hope for? May your day get better and better. Cheers! — Jeff

  2. Mary Corley

    This poem hung on my wall in my room when I was growing up. Reading it this morning reminded me of the many ways it influenced my life and although I have consistently fallen short of its instruction, I still believe in its wisdom. Thanks for sharing its message.

    • Stuff Jeff Reads

      Hi Mary! Thank you for your reply. I don’t think it matters whether we fall short, and again, that’s one of the messages in the poem. If you have expectations or try to measure your success against others, you will always be disappointed. What matters is that you live your life as best as you can, and I know that you do that. 🙂 If I haven’t told you lately, thanks for being such an awesome person!! — Jeff

  3. Sarah Nichols

    Hey Jeff, I’m glad you brought my attention to this poem. I don’t think I have ever come across it before, but it is definitely one I will remember. It is so true and so comforting. I think I will look for more of his poet’s work. Thanks! Sarah

    • Stuff Jeff Reads

      Hi Sarah. Thanks for your reply. I’m glad to be able to share this poem and I am also glad that you found it inspiring. Cheers!

  4. Kay Wheatley

    I just found your blog—and it’s wonderful. “Desiderata” has guided me all my life, sometimes at the darkest times, other times when the Universe seemed to shine with blinding light. The poem has always helped me find my way. And, today, it led me here.


    • Stuff Jeff Reads

      Hello Kay. Thanks for your comment. I can relate to how you feel. There are poems and books that have profoundly influenced me and my perspective on life. I hope Desiderata continues to guide you on your path. Cheers!

      • Kay Wheatley

        Just keep writing, Jeff. You are so very good at it.


        P.S. I used to be a technical writer, too. And I play a little guitar. When I saw how you could write—and that you were into music—well, I just had to sign up!

      • Stuff Jeff Reads

        Thank you for your kind words. They are very much appreciated.

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