ISC Reverie Desiderata : as a didactic poem


Question : Discuss Desiderata as a didactic poem.

Answer : A didactic poem is a poem which is designed to teach people something .
    Max Ehrmann’s ” Desiderata ” offers ‘ a code for life’ emphasising tolerance and optimism. The poem is full of wise sayings and gentle guidance. The poem preaches a moral lesson on how to live a happy and peaceful life.

      What adds to the didactic element in the poem is the use of imperative sentences.
   Imperative sentences are requests, suggestions, advice or commands and they  often begin with a verb.

     By the use of imperative sentences the poet suggests to the readers to be themselves, to be interested in their own career, to avoid loud persons,to be cheerful and to make peace with God. Eg.

  • ” speak your truth quietly and clearly “.

  • “Avoid loud and aggressive persons”.

  • “Be yourself”.

  • “Take kindly the counsel of years.”

     The poem is didactic in the sense as it not only tells us ‘what to do’ but also tells us ‘ how to do it’ .
   Some of the suggestions given in Desiderata to  live peaceful and happy life are as follows –

  • Remain calm and silent amidst all the noises of the world.

  • Learn to get along with others.

  • Voice your opinion clearly and listen to the opinion of the others.

  • Be yourself and not imitate others .

  • Be disciplined but at the same time be gentle to yourself.

  • Give up negative thoughts.

  • Be at peace with God and within your soul.

  • In spite of all fakeness, darkness and drudgery the world is still beautiful and worth living here.

  • Try to be cheerful and happy.
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