Stay Calm Poem by Grenville Klesier Summary, Notes and Line by Line Explanation in English for Students


The poem “Stay Calm” is written by the North American writer Grenville Klesire. Through the poem, the poet tries to tell the readers the importance of staying calm. He says that being calm brings oneself peace of mind and helps you overcome any problem. Staying calm helps a person deal with their negative emotions in the correct way. Learning to remain calm during an argument will allow one to have peace. The poet says that one who has gained the ability to stay calm in all circumstances has mastered the most vital thing in life.

About the poet

Grenville Kleiser was born in 1868 in Canada. He is an author and a poet of the English language. He was also an instructor for public speaking at Yale University. He has authored numerous books on public speaking  and oratorical tutorials. “Stay Calm” is one of his famous poetical works.


The poem is written in 3 stanzas. Each stanza consists of 8 lines each.

Stanza 1

When you feel like saying something

That you know you will regret,

Or keenly feel an insult

Not quite easy to forget,

That’s the time to curb resentment

And maintain a mental peace,

For when your mind is tranquil

All your ill thoughts simply cease.


The poem starts on an advisory note. The speaker begins by talking about how to react in certain situations. The speaker creates a few hypothetical situations. One instance is when one is so angry that they are about to say something harsh and rude. Another situation is when one is about to hear an insult from the other person. This insult, the speaker says, would be very hard to forget.

So he says that when you are angry and are about to shout at the other person or hear an insult from the other person, the best way to let go of any resentment is to stay silent. He says that if your mind is calm and tranquil, you will be able to overcome your negative emotions.


The poem starts off by creating a few hypothetical scenarios. The speaker talks about a situation where the person is about to say some harsh words that they know they will feel bad about later. He creates another scenario where the person has just received an insult that has hurt them a lot and they will not be able to forget about it.

To deal with these situations, the poet advises the person to keep a calm mind and maintain silence. He says that by being in a peaceful state of mind, one can overcome negative thoughts and emotions and keep their composure.

Stanza 2

It’s easy to be angry

When defrauded or defied,

To be peeved and disappointed

If your wishes are denied;

But to win a worthwhile battle

Over selfishness and spite,

You must learn to keep strict silence

Though you know you’re in the right.


Then the speaker talks about a situation where one has been cheated or feels they have been deceived by the other person. In such types of situations, the speaker says that one can feel angry quite easily. One can also feel irritated and disappointed when their orders or wishes are not fulfilled.

  At this point, the speaker says that maintaining silence and staying calm will help one get over the selfishness and spiteful emotions that they might be feeling. By staying calm and maintaining silence one can purgatory and let go of their negative emotions and mindsets that may be holding them back. And it is important to keep quiet even though you know you are right in an argument.


This stanza again talks about other hypothetical situations where a person might be overcome with emotions. He talks about when someone feels defrauded or deceived by someone that they trust. Or to feel angry when our wishes are not fulfilled. These situations can make us feel disappointed or frustrated or angry.

But the poet again emphasizes the importance of staying calm in these situations because this would stop us from becoming selfish or spiteful. Being selfish or spiteful will only degrade our lives. So he says that one should keep a “strict silence” in order to win these situations.

Stanza 3

So keep your mental balance

When confronted by a foe,

Be it enemy in ambush

Or some danger that you know.

If you are poised and tranquil

When all around is strife,

Be assured that you have mastered

The most vital thing in life.


In the last stanza, the speaker leaves the readers with his last advice to always maintain their mental balance. He says that having a balanced mentality while being confronted by unknown enemies or even known betrayers will allow one to overcome the situation.

Both if these situations and be the driving factor that push the person over the edge and incite negative and violent reactions from them. But when the surrounding is filled with arrogance, hatred and anger, one has to keep their composure as it is the best way to deal with the negativity. The speaker calls this the most important skill of life.


The poem ends with a final advice to always maintain one’s mental balance. The poet advises the readers to always have the discipline to stay calm and composed when faced with any danger, seen or unseen.

The poet says that remaining calm and composed when one is surrounded by heartbreak, anger and hatred is an important skill that everyone should master in order to live a happy life. The poet says that having the ability to stay calm though everything is the most important thing in life.