Poetry Monday (a day late): Invictus

This poem by William Ernest Henley (1849-1903 ) is one of my favorites.  In finding it again, I learned that the author had TB of the bone and had his leg amputated at age 25.

When I was much younger (and more conservative in my beliefs) the apparent defiance of God bothered me.  Now I rather like it.

Recently I’ve been reading a motivational book by Jack Canfield.  Part of it’s message is that obstacles present opportunity.  I also recently read the Marine Corps Hymn.  (Yesterday was Memorial Day, after all, and my god son’s two brothers are Marines.)  “Invictus” fits in well with the sentiments of both.

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.

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Filed under Life, poetry

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