Desiderata

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  • Q1

    Is the title ‘Desiderata’ justified?

    Marks:20
    Answer:

    Desiderata means ‘desired things’ in Latin. It is an apt title for an edifying poem that inspires its readers to be at peace with their God, with people around them and with themselves.While reminding us of the ideals and relevance of a human life in the most apposite sense, it offers an optimistic theory for finding happiness in life.

    The poet, Max Ehrmann, has suggested of various ideas that can help one to lead a happy and peaceful life. This poem exhibits the philosophy of life in a concise and simple manner. The poet has used imperative sentences with his focus on offering the readers a positive credo for life. It renders a perfect reminder for a thoughtful living by comparing love and grass, as in the situation of negativity and disillusionment love is the only thing that remains constant like grass that lasts throughout the year.

    The poet has also helped us embrace an aesthetic outlook towards the world without being vulnerable or naïve. He advises us to avoid loud and aggressive people as they can rob us of our mental peace and trouble our spirit. In the journey of life, we shall always find people with achievements greater or lesser than ours, so comparing ourselves with them becomes a futile exercise. It might be useful for us to stay focused and to enjoy our achievements and plans. He has also suggested that we maintain our interest in the work that we do, no matter how trifling it seems. He believes that this practice will keep us going in the time that is so undependable and ever changing. He also recommends that we should exercise caution in our business dealings, as the world is full of fraudulence. But this should not blind us to the virtues found in other people. Many people work hard to achieve high ideals and to be heroic. The poet advises us to regard this heroic virtue too.

    With the final stanza of the poem, the poet has concluded that despite its falseness, insincerity, hard work and broken dreams, the world is still a beautiful place. Through his poem the poet stipulates that we should be cheerful and strive to be happy, thereby justifying the title of his prose-poem.

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  • Q2

    How does ‘Desiderata’ serve as a guide for us to live a meaningful life?

    Marks:20
    Answer:

    Desiderata is an inspirational prose-poem that is popular among people of all ages. The compilation of human virtues in an enlightening style makes this piece of art truly admirable. It talks about the morality of human life under different contexts.

    The poem opens with lines that advise us to practise calm and maintain our poise despite the noise around us, as silence exhibits and promotes peace. We are encouraged to maintain cordial relationship with others without compromising our individuality or our personal interest. We should speak our truth quietly and clearly but at the same time be willing to listen to others readily. People may be dull or ignorant but they have their share of struggles and glory. Their lives are as important as ours and listening to them shall enrich our experience.

    The poem reminds us to consider love as a naturally pure emotion and to not feign it. The poet also appeals to us to be natural in our behavior and not to be artificial in our affection. We must not doubt or distrust love, as it is an emotion which even in the times of distress and weariness is as resilient as the grass.

    The poem guides us to learn from our past experiences and to break free from the hangover of abilities that age has taken away from us. We need to nurture the strength of our spirit as it protects us against any misfortunes that might occur inadvertently. We are also advised not to be troubled too much by negativity and undue fears. Leading a disciplined life is important, but not at the cost of being too severe with ourselves.

    We can live meaningful lives if we have faith in God and we are peaceful in our souls. It will enable us to face all the confusion of ambition and work in our daily lives.

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  • Q3

    What is the main theme of the poem?

    Marks:20
    Answer:

    The theme of the poem is to find the inner peace amidst the mayhem around. It encourages us to practise the virtue of silence by achieving inner peace. It also suggests to be mindful of our human virtues and to be receptive to even the dull and the ignorant. Through his poem, Max Ehrmann advises us to avoid loud and aggressive people as they can rob us of our mental peace and trouble our spirit. He adds that comparing ourselves with others will only make us proud or dejected. If we find them inferior to ourselves, we may turn vain and proud. In case we find them superior to ourselves, we may feel bitter and dejected. In the journey of life, we shall always find people with achievements greater or lesser than ours, so comparing ourselves with them becomes a futile exercise. It might be useful for us to stay focused and to enjoy our achievements and plans.

    The poet has advised us to accept the people as they are, but without surrendering our self-respect in doing so. One can be on good terms with all persons when one is at peace with himself. The inner peace that we lack in the recent times gives us the opportunity to introspect and relate to other people. Also, he reminds us to look upon ourselves as rightful children of this universe which is still growing. We must live in harmony with the idea that there is a benevolent God watching over us lovingly, whatever we may call Him. We must also be peaceful in our soul so that we are able to face all the confusion of ambition and work in our daily lives.

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  • Q4

    How does ‘Desiderata’ by Max Ehrmann inspire?

    Marks:20
    Answer:

    One of the most popular philosophical prose-poems, ‘Desiderata’ communicates with precision and tenderness. Its plain and simple language conveys a beautiful message for each of us. The opening line suggests the readers to seek peace in the hullaballoo that surrounds us. The internal peace is of paramount importance in times when people don’t know what peace feels like. It helps us listen to people around us. We should understand that people may be dull or ignorant but they have their share of struggles and glory. Their lives are as important as ours and listening to them shall enrich our experience.

    The poem inspires us to be a better human being. It advises us to avoid loud and aggressive people as they can rob us of our mental peace and trouble our spirit. Comparing ourselves with others will only make us proud or dejected. If we find them inferior to ourselves, we may turn vain and proud. In case we find them superior to ourselves, we may feel bitter and dejected.

    In order to keep our patience and sanity in the mayhem around, we need to find the inner peace. The poem, Desiderata, inspires us and encourages us to practise the virtue of silence by achieving inner peace. It also suggests to be mindful of our human virtues and to be receptive to even the dull and the ignorant.

    The poet has advised us to accept the people as they are, but without surrendering our self-respect in doing so. Focus on ourselves and try to live our lives meaningfully.

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