"Out of the night that covers me,Black as the pit from pole to pole,I thank whatever gods may beFor my unconquerable soul.In the fell clutch of circumstanceI have not winced nor cried aloud.Under the bludgeonings of chanceMy head is bloody, but unbowed.Beyond this place of wrath and tearsLooms but the Horror of the shade,And yet the menace of the yearsFinds 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.”
As I sat here, 00:49am in the morning, I stumbled across the trailer, yet again, of the movie 'Invictus'. Being the curious mind that I am, I had already known before that the movie title was borrowed from the 18th century poem 'Invictus', but that was as far as my knowledge of it extended. Spurred on by the incredible quote that Morgan Freeman, in his ever dramatic style, mentions at the end of trailer, I was inspired to search deeper. The quote being;
"I am The Master Of My Fate, I Am The Captain Of My Soul"
A quick Google entry and there before me I discovered something pretty extraordinary.
The writer William Ernest Henley
, wrote this poem in 1875. But check this, prior to that, at a mere age of 12
, he was a victim to tuberculosis of the bone
, and subsequently had to have an amputation of the left leg up to his knee. The years that followed where forged by constant visits to the hospital as his right leg had now also become diseased!
He spent THREE YEARS
in Hospital ( 1873-1875) before he was discharged, and even then, he was not completely cured...Now here is what I personally found to be simply extraordinary; he wrote this poem, 'Invictus', from his HOSPITAL BED
in 1875. I'll just give you a moment to scroll back up and re-read that poem if you've forgotten its valiant tone.
At the time that he should have been at his weakest
, after the long hours
and eventually years
of nothing but pain, suffering and misfortune, his mind and soul must have surely been conquered by anguish and depression. (I know I would!
) But no, William Ernest Henley displays a remarkable
resilience showing us the strength of his character. Even before the poem, Mr Henley, (who I will now refer to as Mr Earnest BadAss Henley)
sets the record straight about the the state of his mind with the title Invictus, Being Latin for “Unconquered
”. The poem then speaks boldly
, with the dialogue of a warrior
, to the point where you forget that these are the words of a sick amputee
lying weak in a hospital bed. Instead, that image is replaced with an ideal
, the proverbial principle of mind over matter
, thoughts over substance
, courage over fear
For me this a state of mind I encourage us all to attain, one that looks beyond current circumstance and acknowledges the limited, finite grasp that fear can have, while boldly
pointing out the infinite capacity of the mind
to carry us through our most difficult times.
Joseph Mambwe - 29/10/13P.S. follow this blog if you liked this post and remember..."Even the greatest oak was once just a little nut who held its ground." I'm also an indie app developer so check out and like my page at Ruvix Apps
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