June 20, 2010

Never Give Up

Hi Everyone,

I just finsihed watching the movie "Invictus." It is a very moving movie to be sure. Without going into detail about the movie, I want to share with you the poem which is recited because while listening carefully, I still could not hear every word and knew it was a poem I needed to have and read for myself. It brought tears to my eyes as I heard clearly the last two lines.

I found it online with a little background information about the poet. It is copied below for you to read several times to grasp its message of hope, faith, and will.
Never give up my friends, never give up....

At the age of 12, Henley [the Englishman who wrote the poem] fell victim to tuberculosis of the bone. A few years later, the disease progressed to his foot, and physicians announced that the only way to save his life was to amputate directly below the knee. It was amputated when he was 25. In 1867, he successfully passed the Oxford local examination as a senior student. In 1875, he wrote the "Invictus" poem from a hospital bed. Despite his disability, he survived with one foot intact and led an active life until his death at the age of 53.

Invictus [Latin for “unconquered]

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 gait,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

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