Saturday, October 24, 2009

Desiderata and Snopes

"Go placidly amid the noise and haste..."

How many of us recall Desiderata from the 1970s? It seems that every college dorm had a poster of it somewhere, along with the requisite Lord of the Rings and Farrah Fawcett materials. It even made it onto vinyl as a Les Crane recording, although for copyright reasons YouTube does not carry the audio portion.

I spotted the poster in an office the other day, and like most of the others I remember it said "Old Saint Paul's Church, Baltimore, 1692" on the bottom. The sight was both familiar and a bit unsettling, because it caused me to momentarily question the emotional stability of the guy who had it on his wall.

Snopes.com explains the source of the 1692 reference and tells us that the text was actually written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann, an Indiana lawyer. Thanks Max, and thanks Snopes.

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