My Anthem

Monday, December 02, 2013


Desi has suffered post-GE13 fatigue and following Home minister Zahid Hamidi's advice, and I was one of those Malaysians who don't like the electoral system here, so I migrated. To HIBER-nation. I spent time meeting up with new kakis at tehtarik stall, made a few ccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc

Thursday, March 17, 2005

desiderata -- the ORIGINAL!

The poem by Max Ehrmann was written in 1927, but often unsuspecting readers have come across an attribution that the poem was "found in St. Paul's Church in 1692"!

I first became acquianted with this poem that opens with "Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence," in my secondary schooldays, and I became besotted with Max Ehrmann (. School children might have been introduced to poets like Robert Frost (The Road Not Taken), Emily Dickinson (Hope Is the Thing with Feathers), and of course, the compulsory reading for students of English literature, William Shakespeare; but Max who? would by on the lips of many, what more correctly guess the meaning of Desiderata. But to many of the activists demonstrating against the Vietnam War in the 1960s, this poem was adopted as some sort of their anthem, especially with the hippie generation generally referred to as the flower children.

In "The Desiderata of Happiness", editor Robert L. Bell rote that Max Ehrmann was 'surely one of the greatest spokesmen of the twentieth century'. Deeply concerned with social problems, he was a friend of Eugene Debs, the pioneer union founder in America, whose championing of the underdog struck a responsive chord in Ehrmann who deplored the exploitation of labour in his early twentieth century life. His poem America -- 1910 reflects this period, andComplacent Women, written in 1918, is as relevant today as it was then. (Is there within your soul no pride of life/ No whispered music, and no star of hope/ That you have no desire for human rights?)

Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, and graduated from De Pauw University, and going on to postgraduate studies in law and philiosophy at Harvard University, Ehrmann first practised law, and then joined the family business of meat-packing. He gave the family business up to devote his life to writing. Contemporaries told of him lying in the grass contemplating the sky -- an early "flower child", Bell wrote.

To me, the central attraction in Ehrmann's poetry is that he used very simple words, and yet the message makes a strong connection with the reader, touching the heart, the soul, and exercises the mind, as best exemplified by now-famousDesiderata, which follows:

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
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 trikcery. But let tis 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
you conceive Him to be. * And whatever your labours
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. *****


mwt said...
Anyone heard of Seth (of Jane Roberts)?

“This is the life you are facing and living. You make your own reality - wherever you go.

"My Life is Mine, and I Form It"

Tell yourself this often. Create your own life with your beliefs as an artist uses colour.

You are given the gift of the gods and there are no limitations to the self except to those you believe in.

Do not place the words of gurus, ministers, priest, doctors, psychiatrists, scientists or even friends higher than the feelings of your own being for self-understanding and growth and answers to overall life situations.

Speak your name with affirmation each morning and your rightness in the universe. You create your life through the inner power of your being (whose source is within you and yet beyond the selves that you know)

Use your creative abilities with understanding abandon, honour yourself and move through the godliness of your being.

Trust no person who tells you that you are evil or guilty by reason of your nature or your physical existence.

Trust no one who leads you away from the reality of yourself.

Do not follow those who tell you that you must do penance, in whatever form.

Trust instead the spontaneity of your own being and the life that is your own.

If you do not like where you are, then examine closely those beliefs that you have. Bring them out in the open. There is nothing within yourself to fear.

You can learn much from others, but the deepest knowledge must come from within yourself. Your own consciousness is embarked on a reality that basically can be experienced by no other, that is unique and untranslatable.

You share an existence with others who are experiencing their own journeys in their own ways, and you have journeying in common, then.

As one traveller to another, I salute U. Be kind to yourself and to your companions”
desiderata today 2 December 2013 "reprised" mwt's comment because it still holds much meaning -- and new meaning on second or further reading -- because he was a fellow writer-traveller who made the blogger's journey so educational. A writer's quest can be lonesome, so when on stops by the inn to seek refrfreshment, a "copanion" ho maketh interesting conversation is a bonus.

FOR TOSE NOT IN TH KNOWW< I am sad to report that "MWT" I know has moved on from this transient planet called EARTH. May his soul find a new more arresting place to wander and woner in.

So dear esteemed readers, cherish your tehtarik kakis however many and where they are, life is not predictable that "we will see that familiar face" once more. LIVE FOR TODAY, let others take care of tomorrow. Today bnelongs to us -- LET'S SEIZE THE MOMENT.

If I wakcccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccct to see the sun rise tomorrw -- InsyaAllah -- I may amuse you with my REASONG FOR POST-ERECTION FATFUE! Ooops, post-ELECTION...Maaf ia, you boleh tahan sikit-sikit gurau kan?! ~~ Desi, knottyaSsusual

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