I remember my mom bought us a little orange book with a big red “101 poems” on the cover.
She bookmarked a page and gave it to me and said that I should memorize the poem.
(I think I was in the 1st or 2nd grade at this time. And at school, we were made to memorize a poem each year and have to recite it in front of the whole class. This, by the way, was one of the worst memories I had of elementary school because I hate reciting in class and speaking in public.)
So I asked her a big: WHY?
Why do I need to memorize this poem? Why should I?
Number 1. I hate memorizing stuffs
Number 2. It’s not even a requirement in school.
Number 3. What’s the point?
My mom brushed off my being melodramatic (yes, even as a child I was already a drama queen!haha) and just simply said: “It’s a beautiful poem. Just memorize it and analyze what it means.”
For weird reasons, I did memorize it.
This was a poem by William Ernest Henley called, Invictus:
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.
One of the weird reasons is that when I read it, I felt chills.
This is the type of literature that when you read it, you suddenly wish for confidence.
And this newfound self-esteem will make you want to deliver this as a speech in a very kick-ass British accent, in front of a crowd with head held high and one closed fist in chest.
At this time in my life, my quarter life crisis is nearing to end it’s peak (I think) and I remember this poem. I am memorizing it again.
Hopefully when all the dusts in my confused mind settles, a clear vision of a life goal will arise.
And I will continue to use the last two lines as a mantra in seeing it through.
“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”
Invictus -- latin for invincible; a poem; a movie; an inspiration. Thanks Ma! :)