Desiderata: "Go placidly..." LO13003

Annette Huang (
Tue, 25 Mar 1997 07:51:33 +1200

Replying to LO12986 --

C Baudry wrote:
> While writing my personal mission statement, I bumped into a reproduction
> of an old english parchment I had bought 10 years ago while visiting
> Canterbury. I looks like guidelines to live a fruitful life. I would be
> interested in receiving comments or if someone knew the origin of this
> text.

Sorry, Christian, the Desiderata is not an old English text. It was
written in 1927 by a German-American poet Max Ehrmann (from Terre Haute,
Ind.). It seems that this poem is often wrongly attributed.

I have a copy reprinted in a collection of Ehrmann's poems in: The
desiderata of happiness. London: Souvenir, 1986. ISBN 0 285 62724 4

It seems that the collection was probably first published in the US in
1948, three years after the poet's death.

Some of the other poems are just as beautiful and thought-provoking as
the Desiderata.


Annette Huang
Manukau Institute of Technology
Manukau, NZ

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