Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Day 34: Invictus

Sometimes we need reminding of who we really are. Our strengths. Our power. Our capabilities. 
No better poem than William Ernest Henley's 'Invictus.' Nelson Mandela was inspired by the poem, and had it written on a scrap of paper in his prison cell while he was incarcerated for 27 years on Robben Island. He would allegedly read it to the prisoners to inspire morale. Invictus, coincidentally (meaning 'unconquered') became the name of the 2009 Clint Eastwood film about the leader and the South African rugby team. 

It has also been quoted in many other films, including Casablanca and has become a poem familiar to many people. 

Even when you're not feeling so strong, read this. Let it empower you. For here is a poem which is a testament to the sheer power of words, 'I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.'

Invictus - William Ernest Henley

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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