Archive for May 20th, 2011

May 20, 2011

Wear Sunscreen

Mary Schmich

Wear Sunscreen is the common name of an essay titled ‘Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young’ written by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich, and published in 1997, but often erroneously attributed to a commencement speech by author Kurt Vonnegut.

Both its subject and tone are similar to the 1927 poem ‘Desiderata.’ The most popular and well-known form of the essay is the music single ‘Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen),’ released in 1998, by Baz Luhrmann.

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May 20, 2011

Desiderata

Desiderata [dih-sid-uh-rey-tuh] (Latin: ‘desired things’) is a 1927 poem by American writer Max Ehrmann (1872-1945).

The text was largely unknown in the author’s lifetime and became widely known after its use in a devotional in 1959 by a church in Baltimore. When Adlai Stevenson died in 1965, a guest in his home found the Desiderata near his bedside and discovered that Stevenson had planned to use it in his Christmas cards.

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