Friday, September 13, 2013

Invictus; "I am the master of my fate"

Biodun Owolaja, this one is for you.

The English poet, William Ernest Henley, contacted tuberculosis of the bone at the age of 12. Over the next five years, the disease progressed to his foot, and his physicians had to amputate his leg in order to save his life. He wrote the following poem after these events, in stoic defiance of this disability. (Source: Wikipedia)

I must mention: positive change in our lives is not created by what we read; it is created by what we think about what we read. Thought, and not 'reading' does the trick.

My favorite stanza first, then the full poem afterwards:
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.
Full poem:
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.
If you'd like more food for thought, also see:
If- (by Rudyard Kipling)
The Man in the Arena (by Theodore Roosevelt)

Cheers to the weekend :)

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