Mattie Stepanek

Young Mattie Stepanek published several best selling books of poetry: Heartsongs, Journey Through Heartsongs, Celebrate Through Heartsongs, and Loving Through Heartsongs. Teenage country music artist, Billy Gilman, released a CD entitled, Music Through Heartsongs, featuring songs based on the poetry of Mattie. Mattie passed away on June 22, 2004, but his life and work continue to touch the hearts of people worldwide as shown by the MY HERO guestbook entries devoted to this remarkable young man.

For Our World

We need to stop.
Just stop.
Stop for a moment
Before anybody
Says or does anything
That may hurt anyone else.
We need to be silent.
Just silent.
Silent for a moment
Before we forever lose
The blessing of songs
That grow in our hearts.
We need to notice.
Just notice.
Notice for a moment
Before the future slips away
Into ashes and dust of humility.
Stop, be silent, and notice
In so many ways, we are the same.
Our differences are unique treasures.
We have, we are, a mosaic of gifts
To nurture, to offer, to accept.
We need to be.
Just be.
Be for a moment
Kind and gentle, innocent and trusting,
Like children and lambs,
Never judging or vengeful
Like the judging and vengeful.
And now, let us pray,
Differently, yet together,
Before there is no earth, no life,
No chance for peace.

Mattie J.T. Stepanek
September 11, 2001

From the book HOPE THROUGH HEARTSONGS by Mattie J.T. Stepanek. Copyright (c) 2002 Mattie J.T. Stepanek. Published by Hyperion. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Page created on 10/24/2008 11:08:22 AM

Last edited 10/24/2008 11:08:22 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

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Extra Info

On July 6, 2001, VSP Books and Hyperion Books joined efforts to publish Mattie's book, HeartSongs. Now a national best seller, Heartsongs is a compilation of Mattie's early works, including 20 of his poems, as well as his artwork.

As part of a three-book deal signed by Mattie and Hyperion, the publishers have also released Mattie's second book, Journey through Heartsongs. This new tome includes a larger collection of poems spanning the seven years he has been writing.

Mattie at the press conference announcing the release of his book

Being interviewed by a TV personality


Listen to the song inspired by Mattie and his poems!

Special thanks to David Alexander and the choir at St. Paul's Episcopal Day School, Kansas City for this touching song. Click below to download:

Related Books


Author Info

Poet Hero Mattie Stepanek wrote several poems about the World Trade Center/Pentagon Crisis that occured on September 11, 2001. This is one that he chose to share with MY HERO.

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