Max Ehrmann | Top Q&A

Max EhrmannMax Ehrmann (1872-1945) was an academic and poet, born in Terre Haute, Indiana on September 16, 1872. He was the youngest of five children of German immigrants. He graduated from DePauw College in Greencastle, Indiana in 1894, then studied law and philosophy at Harvard University. After 10 years in the business world, Ehrmann retired to be able to devote full time to literary work. Towards the end of his life, in an interview, he told a writer, “At DePauw, I contracted an illness from which I never recovered. The disease is Idealism. I took it to Harvard, where I studied philosophy. Because of it, I did what I wanted to do in my life – write. ” 1 During his lifetime, Max Ehrmann contributed great ideas to our literary lexicon, blending the magic of words and wisdom with his worthy observations. His deep and constant interest in social issues is reflected in many of his works. Poems such as The Complacent Woman, written in 1918, and Washington, DC, written in 1924 about the oil scandals, are as relevant today as they were then. He constantly sought spiritual fulfillment, often turning to nature as in the poem The Noise of the City and Away. His philosophical writings are a search for social truth and peace – messages that never get old. 1Max Ehrmann wrote many poems, although none became widely known until after his death. They have been collected into several books including Desiderata of Happiness, and Desiderata of Faith. His two most famous poems are Desiderata (1927) and A Prayer (1906). He died on September 9, 1945, leaving behind his widow, Bertha K. Ehrmann, who wrote his biography in 1951.

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Terre Haute celebrates Max Ehrmann

On August 26, 2010, 138 years after his birth, Terre Haute celebrated their famous poet. “A crowd of 600 gathered on the first block of North Seventh Street… Max Ehrmann’s long-awaited dedication at the Crossroads, a sculpture by Bill Wolfe, was accompanied by cars Seats on the street and refreshments on the sidewalk among a crowd are allowed for standing rooms only. Visitors can now sit on the bronze bench at the Crossroads of America — Seventh Street and Wabash Avenue, next to the bronze statue of Max Ehrmann, and ponder the words of Desiderata, where Max used to sit. and reflect on life years ago.

  • Smithwick, Lin. “PRAIRIE air: Lost in a Closet” Prairie Business January 1, 2006
  • Bennett, Mark. “Max Ehrmann: “The Rare Man” One of Terre Haute’s Most Memorable Things” News from Terre Haute, Indiana September 5, 2009
  • Boyce, Brian. “Max takes his seat at the Crossroads of America” News from Terre Haute, Indiana September 5, 2009
  • Prints and posters Desiderata

    Artist and calligrapher Sherrie Lovler has designed two stunning versions of Desiderata prints and posters, one with roses and the other with diamonds. Many colors and sizes to choose from. Read your own copy every day!

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