27 Feb 2022

50 years on, does Desiderata still resonate today?

From Sunday Morning, 9:52 am on 27 February 2022

It's been 50 years since radio announcer and TV talk show host Les Crane hit the top of the New Zealand music charts with Desiderata. Using the lyrics from the 1920s prose poem Desiderata (Latin: "things desired") as a spoken word recording on the lead track of his album, which was also titled Desiderata, Crane briefly held the No 1 spot in the New Zealand charts before being overtaken by the New Seekers. It wasn't the first time Desiderata, which was written by American poet Max Ehrmann, had been used by another artist. Calling it 'Spock Thoughts', Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy recited the poem on his 1968 album Two Sides to Leonard Nimoy. Professor of Psychology at Victoria University, Marc Wilson offers his take on how good the advice is in the inspirational prose poem that was embraced by the 1960s counterculture.

Marc Wilson

Marc Wilson Photo: Used with permission