Printable Desiderata Poem PDF Download

One of the things the internet is good for is to read amazing writing. Writing that speaks to your soul. Writing that makes you think. Writing that you remember how you felt reading it even a month or a year later.

Download a printable copy of the Desiderata

One of those pieces of writing that has stood the test of time is the Desiderata poem.

Although a lot of people think this was written as a prayer, the truth is the Desiderata text was first written as a prose poem by Max Ehrmann. It became popular at first around the time of the second World War when Mr. Ehrmann sent copies of the poem to a chaplain serving the American troops during the war.

The words to the Desiderata start off with the very famous, “Go placidly amid the noise and haste . . .” those words are often the only words some people know of the poem, so they will search for things like “the go placidly poem” on the internet.

But there is so much more to the text of the writing itself. So many more ideas that join together to create a feeling of quiet strength and belongingness with the entire world.

And one of the things most often searched for online is a downloadable printable PDF version of the entire poem. So we decided to create one.

We used some amazing photographs and combined those with the words of the poem itself to create a beautiful version of this classic piece of 20th century literature.

Download your copy of the Desiderata


Here is the text of the poem used in the illustrated version.


Go placidly amid the noise and 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 the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and 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 with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. Max Ehrmann, 1927

Enjoy this poem, it is astounding.

46 Comments on “Printable Desiderata Poem PDF Download”

  1. Pingback: Desiderata Poem - Max Ehrmann 1927 Meaning, Analysis, Interpretation

  2. Susie A Macon

    These words minister to my soul . Thank you for the interpretation . Be blessed always

  3. Frank and Anna

    We had this poem read at our wedding. Thank you for sharing it with the internet world.

  4. Luke Brendel

    I have loved this poem for a long time. thank you for your help in understanding its deeper meaning.

  5. Leigh

    When i was a child my grandmother had this hanging on the toilet door, I red it so many times but it wasnt till just last week, I was talking to my bestie about life and our beliefs why people dont treat others the way they’d like to be treated and I remembered Desiderata, perfect timing for us, now this will be our guideline to life
    It’s on the back of my toilet door now and my besties
    Thank you Max Erhmann and Thank you for the download so very much appreciated and I’m so very grateful ?

  6. Renata

    I really appreciate that you have made this available to us online. Thank you. I love the desiderata.

  7. Alfredo

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the desiderata poem, this is a poem I have always enjoyed.

  8. Brittney

    Thank you very much for this. I love this poem. My grandmother had it in a copy of a little pamphlet she used to keep in her desk.

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