ISC English literature –Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

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36 Responses

  1. Gayatri says:

    All your explanations are absolutely amazing and I am so grateful to you for having written these!

  2. Lahari Somasi says:

    Do refer any websites or other sources for your vocabulary? Please suggest some, if you do.

    • Satya Prakash says:

      There is, to my knowledge, no website to teach you vocabulary. The best way to learn new ords is to read extensively, and learn new words, their meanings and uses as you proceed.

      • Aishna says:

        There is one good app you can refer to
        Volt vocabulary learning

        • Satya Prakash says:

          1. You may do the Vocabulary exercises I post from time to time. The best way to learn new words and their use is by reading quality books and newspapers. In case you are interested in American and world politics, you may read Washington Post’s Today’s Worldview column by Ishan Tharoor. There are scores of good books too. For guidance, send a mail to me in
          bradbase.knowledge@gmail.com

  3. Lahari Somasi says:

    I have written a few summaries. Could you, please, examine and edit them? If yes, please let me know your Gmail username

  4. Varshita says:

    Thank you very much sir
    I’m really grateful to you.

  5. Ahsnat says:

    Can you please post a short paragraph on the ‘style’ of this poem…cause it seems to me like a probable question to be asked in examinations.

  6. Rajni says:

    Discuss Desiderata as an inspirational poem and bring out its messege and the theme of the poem. Word limit 400 to 450 words.

    I would be grateful if you could help me out with this answer. I would request you to provide this answer with high sounding vocabulary.

    • Satya Prakash says:

      Sunday 10pm.

    • Satya Prakash says:

      Discuss Desiderata as an inspirational poem and bring out its message and the theme of the poem.
      ———.—————————————
      The poet speaks like a sage to his daughter who is just about to emerge out of the cloistered domestic environment to face life on her own. Standing on one’s legs has never been easy for a young woman standing on the throes of adulthood. She has to face competition from peers, fend off lecherous elements, cope with academic and job pressure and decide on a life mate. All these tasks are onerous, and riddled with uncertainties, and hidden risks.
      The father knows the perils his daughter has to contend with. He is extremely fond of her, and wants to keep her out of harm’s way. Fortunately for her, he is a wise person.
      He asks the daughter to shun flamboyance, and publicity, but also never cower before others needlessly. Politeness is golden, but pliability shows weakness. Steadfastness is strength, but, uncalled for subordination is stupid. The father underlines these principles of life. Competitive spirit might or might not end in success, but envy towards the victor surely brings disgrace.
      While the above advices guide the daughter to avoid heartbreaks or emotional scars, the most inspiring lines come when the father asks his daughter to do her duty well, no matter how harshly success eludes her. The joy of life lies in coming home after a day of dedicated and draining schedule where both mind and body gave their best. The euphoria of success should be treated as icing on the cake, not the cake itself. If the hard work brings success, savour it, but if it brings failure and disappointment, take it in your stride. No advice can be more golden than this.
      The father speaks of love that an adolescent girl must accept, not feign it. Love is heavenly, feigning it is chicanery. Resisting the tides of love is cruel, and letting oneself bathed in it is as beautiful as the lotus.
      ‘Don’t be a Sanyasi, says the father. Abstinence is for the recluse, moderate indulgence is for the youthful. The father lovingly asks his daughter to enjoy herself, though in moderation. Trying to be an ascetic is for those who have abandoned all sensuous pleasures of life.
      When we finish reading the poem, a great feeling of positivity, hope, and energy seem to flow through our veins. The words inspire one and all, particularly the young adolescents coming out of the confines of a protective home. It prepares a young mind to weather the rough and tumble of life with equanimity, dignity and grace. For all youngsters entering the perilous world, the advices act as the loadstar.
      —————————END—————-

    • Satya Prakash says:

      Discuss Desiderata as an inspirational poem and bring out its message and the theme of the poem.
      ———.—————————————
      The poet in the role of a father speaks like a sage to his daughter, who is just about to emerge out of the cloistered domestic environment to face life on her own. Standing on one’s legs has never been easy for a young woman standing on the throes of adulthood. She has to face competition from peers, fend off lecherous elements, cope with academic and job pressure and decide on a life mate. All these tasks are onerous, and riddled with uncertainties, and hidden risks.
      The father knows the perils his daughter has to contend with. He is extremely fond of her, and wants to keep her out of harm’s way. Fortunately for her, he is a wise person.
      He asks the daughter to shun flamboyance, and publicity, but also never cower before others needlessly. Politeness is golden, but pliability shows weakness. Steadfastness is strength, but, uncalled for subordination is stupid. The father underlines these principles of life. Competitive spirit might or might not end in success, but envy surely brings disgrace. No matter how hard and arduous one’s profession is, doing one’s duty with the utmost dedication. ‘That’s the way forward,’ avers the father to his unsure and tender daughter.
      Reading the poem appears to be like listening to a sermon. It exudes morality, strength, and optimism. No wonder, one feels inspired to hear such uplifting advice. Putting dutifulness as the ultimate virtue is possibly the most inspiring message of the timeless poem. In the same way, the father advises his daughter to respond to the tides of love that come roaring at this age. Spurning romance is futile, accepting it is fulfilling.
      The poem is inspiring because it banishes fear, negativity, and indolence from the youngster’s mind. Instead, the soothing, soft words instill confidence, courage and morality. This is why, the poem continues to resonate in the minds of both young and old people despite the lapse of so many decades. It will be apt to term it as the true psalm of life.
      ———————-END——————-

  7. Yash Vardhan Goel says:

    Sir, i am an ISC student. I need your guidance. Can you please provide me with your email id. The id given above is not working.

  8. GINA says:

    The best information i’ve found yet on this poem. Great one. Helped me a lot. Thank you so much

  9. Yash Vardhan Goel says:

    sir, can you please write a ‘personal profile sample’ that outlines personal attributes and qualities of individual.
    I will be extremely helped if you look into this.
    Thanks.

  10. Yash Vardhan Goel says:

    Somewhere around 350-400 words.

    • Satya Prakash says:

      Wait for a day or two.

    • Satya Prakash says:

      Personal profile sample of an individual..

      A Salt-harvester’s Daily Life

      I am a woman born to fight the odds of life, smilingly. I live in a village about five kilometers off the Ganjam coast in Odisha on the Bay of Bengal shore. My husband is a woodcutter, and my two daughters are in Class 5 and 7 in our village school.
      Some 13 years ago, my woodcutter husband came with his parents to see me, and agreed to marry me with no great fuss, because I was an earning woman then! I was making Rs.30 a day working as a labourer in the salt making beds, close to the sea. My parents were elated, and I was married off with no great delay. The fanfare that accompanied my marriage cost my parents a hefty sum of Rs.1850, their life-time savings. I was a 15-year-old maiden then, coy and coquettish, but very bold and stoic.

      On the bridal night, my husband told me how he occasionally encounters tigers when he ventures into the deep jungles. ‘Such meetings have, so far, passed off incident-less,’ he said with a grin. His words sent shivers down my spine, but I felt proud that I had married a brave man. Wryly he said that he couldn’t stop going, because he had to earn a living.
      My marriage didn’t give me any respite from my salt-gathering work. My in-laws had made it clear that I must continue to be a ‘working woman’ after the marriage! To avoid the blinding glare of the noon Sun, I leave my house at 3am, walk the five kilometers with my co-workers, and reach the salt fields by 4.30am. That’s when my work starts. My ‘team’ has to scrape the solidified salt off the ground using trowels and shovels, put them in the gunny bags and cart them to the store shed. We are paid Rs.4 per bag. Our team of four like me, makes just about Rs. 300 by noon, when the Sun becomes too unkind to us to continue. We share the earning, and I get Rs. 75 for the 8-hour grind! I fold the notes with great care, and tuck them inside my blouse with a sense of accomplishment.
      My feet burn, and my palms itch. My limbs have been inured to the pain that I have suffered for years. My skin has turned blue in patches and my legs have developed blisters. But, I don’t care. I don’t care, because I am determined to give my two daughters the best education I can afford. My husband’s income goes to keep our hearth burning, and my income is put aside in our village post office to be used when my village school fees become due or I have buy my daughters their books and school uniforms. My husband seldom inquires about my earnings. He trusts me.
      Hours and hours of standing in the corrosive salt beds under the harsh sunlight has taken its toll. My employer, our village moneylender, has given us no shoes, no gloves, but we seldom demand. Asking for these could bring instant dismissal.
      I can continue for another ten years or so. By that time, my two daughters would have completed a decent education. My life-long toil, and my husband’s tryst with the woods, hopefully, could save my two lovely daughters from the salt fields! That would be a dream fulfilled.
      ——————————–END—————————

      • Yash Vardhan Goel says:

        I appreciate it sir, but i wanted it as a personal profile of a student( his achievements,goals,aspirations,etc)
        If you write something in this regard, i would be greatly helped as i have to take board exams next month.
        Thanks.

        • Satya Prakash says:

          O.K, by evening.

        • Satya Prakash says:

          See this.

          Profile of a student….
          In my young days, I had always been a laggard in studies, because I found the class room to be a heart-less, soul-less place, where I had to sit still, erect, and attentive to whatever my teacher taught. It was a jail. Whenever I could slip out, I ran to the potter’s place, where the artisan put a lump of mud on the center of a rotating wheel, and with some sleight of fingers could turn out myriad forms – vases, pots, saucers, water jugs, Diwali Diyas, and what not. At times, as I gazed at his wheel and his hands, he would give me a lump of the mud to make my own forms.
          But, the fascination with terracotta was torn apart, when my father passed away after a fatal snake bite. My mother told me, I had to study hard to be able to earn money. We were a family of very modest means.
          I saw the tears rolling down my mother’s eyes, and told her, with a rare resolve, I will be on my feet in due time. I gave my heart and soul to my studies and decided to become a doctor. Many frightened me saying that getting a seat would need very high scores. That caution made my resolve even stronger.
          I passed my Class 10 Board with flying colours. I got a scholarship and enrolled in the nearby college for my Class 12. The subjects really stupefied me. I thought of atoms, molecules, and the enormous galaxies, and the Universe we are part of. As I thought about the enormity of the Creation, my aspirations began to change. My mother was baffled. I told her I would become a scientist, an eminent scientist. And, I would teach science the way it can grip the students’ imagination.
          I have finished my B. Sc in Physics, and going to do my Masters in the Indian Institute of Science, Banglore. I will not rest after my M. Sc. I will do Ph.D, and delve into Astrophysics.
          All this has come with a price. I live away from my mother, talk to her only one a week over phone. I burn mid-night oil routinely, and that has made me physically weak. However, I really don’t care, because I want to do my mother and my country proud by touching the soaring heights of this fascinating branch of science, Astrophysics.
          ———————————–END——————————–

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