My life in verse

Challenge 2 of Wake Up 2017 was to find a poem that reflects where, or who, I am now.

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This was a really interesting challenge, and I did some looking around for new poems as well as some enjoying of old favourites so thanks for the opportunity to wallow in poetry! When it came down to it, though, I decided to share the poem that has been my rallying cry since I first read it as a teenager - William Ernest Henley's Invictus. I loved it - and had it on innumerable notebooks, screensavers and bedroom walls long before the film popularised it (which made me a bit cross, to honest...). Now it's engraved on my heart, reminding me of who I am.

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 bludgeoning 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 think I always had a drive to live life my own way. It never felt like a crusade or anything, I just couldn't imagine being any other way. This still gets me into trouble...


cat lover, wife, designer, analyst (the spreadsheet kind...), friend, sister, daughter, writer, consultant, lover of beauty...


Go to the profile of Jacqui
over 4 years ago
What a powerful choice. My goodness if we can be our own inspiration and strength and not need the approval of society that would be amazing. It can be so hard not to be swayed by others. But it is true that in difficulty we can find out true power and strength. Lovely choice.
Go to the profile of Mark Cuddy
over 4 years ago
Interesting. I like it that this poem has been with you for forever and a day and that it means so much to you- that's powerful. I love the way it reflects on you, off you and is you. Interesting, very interesting. Makes me want to get a book of poetry. Shame I'm too busy but food for thought. Thanks for the post.
Go to the profile of Fiona Dolben
over 4 years ago
Wow this is a huge poem. I'm not big into poetry but I can really feel how much this means to you from how you write about it. A friend of mine had picked a poem for his Dad's funeral and was quite cross when it was popularised by a film because his sister thought he had copied it. But it meant so much more than that x
Go to the profile of Vanessa
over 4 years ago
Fi, it's funny, isn't it, how sometimes when something is so deeply personal it's hard to share it. It feels like no one could possibly appreciate it as much.