Words Challenge, Day 13

More poetry! I can really feel the change this words challenge has started in my own life–I’ve written more in my book in the last two weeks than I have in the last three months put together. And it at the same time allows me to share some of my favorite poems–like today’s. So here it is:

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Invictus, by 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.
~ ~ ~

I love this poem, and particularly the last two lines, for the message they give about attitude. Do the terrible circumstances of the narrator change from the beginning of the poem to the end? No–it is only his attitude that gives him control. He is not the master of the actions against him but still commands his fate and soul. And that is truly amazing.

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I’d also like to relate this poem to a show I just finished, W: Two Worlds. I know some follow this blog for the inspirational posts and some for the Kdrama–but I think this poem and Kang Chul’s story marry the two quite beautifully. Even when in terrible circumstances and little choices are given you, even when compelled to do things or “written” into a decision you don’t like, you can remain the captain of your soul.

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