Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Best Poem: "I am captain of my soul"


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley


The title for the movie “Invictus” is the same as one of William Ernest Henley’s poems. The movie is about Nelson Mandela’s rise from being a prisoner to the president of his country. He showed by the way he lived his life that he was the “master of his fate” and “captain of his soul.” As president, he turned enemies into friends, and treated both black and white as one big family, during a very trying post-apartied time. Both movie and poem have many levels of meaning, but the foundation for both is courage. Without the courage of our convictions, and the courage to follow our dreams, who are we? How much can we contribute to society?

This seems like a superb poem to memorize and chant to ourselves when we feel courage lacking in our lives to do the right thing.

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