Max Ehrmann

Max
Ehrmann
1872
1945

American Writer, Poet and Attorney, known for his poem "Desiderata" (Latin for "things desired")

Author Quotes

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story.

Ere you lie down to sleep in the night, sit still awhile, and nurse again to life your gentler self. Forget the restless, noisy spirit of the day, and encourage to speech the soft voices within you that timidly whisper of the peace of the quiet night; and occasionally look out at the quiet stars. The night will soothe you like a tender mother, folding you against her soft bosom, and hiding you from the harm of the world. Though denied and rejected by men in the light of day, the night will not reject you and in the still of her soft shadows you are free. After the day's struggle there is no freedom like unfettered thoughts, no sound like the music of silence. And though behind you lies a road of dust and heat and discouragement, and before you the challenge and uncertainty of untried paths, in this brief hour you are master of all highways, and the universe nestles in your soul.

Whatever else you do or forbear,
impose upon yourself the task of happiness;
and now and then abandon yourself
to the joy of laughter.

And however much you condemn the evil in the world,
remember that the world is not all evil;
that somewhere children are at play,
as you yourself in the old days;
that women still find joy in the stalwart hearts of men;

And that men, treading with restless feet their many paths,
may yet find refuge from the storms of the world
in the cheerful house of love.

Lift up my eyes from the earth and let me not forget the uses of the stars.

Let me not follow in the clamor of the world, but walk calmly in my path.

May I not forget that poverty and riches are of the spirit. Though the world knows me not, may my thoughts and actions be such as will keep me friendly with myself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

I contracted a disease which I have never shaken off. The disease was idealism. Because of it, I did the thing in life I wanted to do - Writing.

And though age and infirmity overtake me, and I come not within sight of the castle of my dreams, teach me still to be thankful for life, and for time's olden memories that are good and sweet; and may the evening's twilight find me gentle still.

After the day’s struggle there is no freedom like unfettered thoughts, no sound like the music of silence. And though behind you lies a road of dust and heat and discouragement, and before you the challenge and uncertainty of untried paths, in this brief hour you are master of all highways, and the universe nestles in your soul.

“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 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.

Author Picture
First Name
Max
Last Name
Ehrmann
Birth Date
1872
Death Date
1945
Bio

American Writer, Poet and Attorney, known for his poem "Desiderata" (Latin for "things desired")