Sunday Inspiration: Desiderata


This week when I learned that Leonard Nimoy had died I was immediately reminded of a day in the 60s when I heard him on an afternoon talk show reading this wonderful prose poem. At the time it was thought to have been written in the 1600s because it had been included in a book of readings by the rector of Old Saint Paul’s Church in Baltimore, and the date of the church’s foundation, 1692, was included in the book. In truth it is a prose poem written by Max Ehrmann in 1927.

I found this poem so comforting, so reassuring, as if something I’d longed for had been revealed. Particularly: “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 is should.”

Since that afternoon I have been grateful that Leonard Nimoy found this as meaningful as I came to and shared it with so many.  I will miss him.


  1. Martha on March 1, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Thank you Emilie. The prose poem is especially meaningful on this first day of a new month, Spring’s month and the month of new beginnings. Touching words and phrases that are meaningful to me: placidly; peace in silence and one’s soul; gracefully surrendering and be gentle with yourself.

  2. Terry Guerra on March 1, 2015 at 9:24 am

    The last paragraph truly touches my soul; that”…it is still a beautiful world.” I haven’t heard Leonard Nimoy read any poems but he was a part of my childhood as my dad, my brothers and I watched “Star Trek” together. Somehow, someone always found a re-run to watch as the years went by. RIP Mr. Spock, thanks for the memories.

  3. Bess Stark on March 1, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Beautiful. I can hear Leonard Nimoy’s voice as I read this. It seems to fit him.

  4. Lynn Ross on March 6, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    This was such a touching tribute, Emilie. I’m copying and pasting my response to you on Facebook:
    “Thank you, Emilie! “Desiderata” is one of my most favorite of favorites. I had never heard Leonard Nimoy read it, so I immediately went to You Tube to see if it was there, and to my delight, it was. Here is the link if you or anyone else is interested. Rest in Peace Mr. Spock/Nimoy. You leave a great void. You will be missed.”

    Leonard Nimoy Reads “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann

    • Emilie Richards on March 6, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      What a great idea to look for this on Youtube. Many thanks for posting it.

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