go placidly - ehrmann

I found this on the wall of St Mary’s Church in Ambleside, in their Wordsworth chapel. Which first led me to wonder whether he wrote it! Actually, the text has been attributed to various sources, but the general consensus seems to be that Max Ehrmann wrote it as a ‘prose poem’ in 1927. Since it was not properly copyrighted at the time, it’s been used and quoted and rewritten all over the place. I’ve found examples that try to convince readers that this was found in “Old Saint Paul’s Church, Baltimore, in 1692”. Or, as the version in Ambleside stated, it was written at “Lilac Cottage, Spring 1985”, by an unnamed author. There are explanations to some of these ‘mistaken identities’ to be discovered on Wikipedia…

Whatever its history, the text clearly speaks to many in a very deep and personal way. It is good advice, a calm and centred place in one’s mind to return to. It somehow feels like a reconciliation. It is what it is; be cheerful despite it all. There is yet good to be found. Don’t be afraid.

This entry was posted in Poetry, Reflect and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Desiderata

  1. A // W // F says:

    I needed these beautiful words today … Thank you. ❤

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