Thursday, October 16, 2008

Living on a Prayer

Did you ever notice how sometimes just one little thing can turn your day into crap?


There is this poem, by William Earnest Henley. It was written in 1875 when he was bedridden and stricken with tuberculosis of the bone. I didn't even know that was possible. He lost a foot at age 12, and lived his entire life with disability, but graduated Oxford and lived a full life. This poem was written during one of his many hospital visits during his life, when he was 26. He died at age 54.

The name of the poem is in Latin and it means 'Unconquered'.

Many of you will be familiar with its final phrases... here then, I share it with you in its entirety.


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 master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

These words move me, and give me stead on my tough days.

Like today.

Thanks, William. If only in my own suffering I could create something so beautiful for the world.

be well...


Marty said...

Hi Dawn,
You have created something beautiful ... your blog. I think your stories -- how you seize the day, every day -- are inspiring. Thanks for sharing the poem.

Leigh said...

You don't think you can create something as beautiful in the world as that poem?(which is awesome, by the way)
I'm thinking of quite a few!
This blog
Your connection with all your friends here!

Well, is that enough, or do I need to get tough with you and mention the inspiration you provide by example?


:) Leigh

ELLIE said...

my favorite lines
I am master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

very cool - thanks for sharing it and I hope your tomorrow is beautiful and bright!!!

Jeannette said...

that is a beautiful poem. We can all create something beautiful in little ways.

Tightening the Corset Again said...

LOVE it! Thanks for sharing!

Traci said...

Keep up the faith, girl. I'm not sure why we are dealt the hand we are but it is in the playing that we win!

Traci said...

Keep up the faith, girl. I'm not sure why we are dealt the hand we are but it is in the playing that we win!

Toon said...

Your faith gives me faith. Keep up the good fight!


Chris/cacklinrosie101 said...

Dawn, you do create beautiful words and entries in your blog and beautiful smiles through the pain that you suffer without nary a complaint. That is inspiration. HUGS

Missie said...

Have a good weekend.

erarein63 said...

Love the poem! You do touch so many and contribute so much, never doubt! Hope you feel better. De ;

a corgi said...

(((Dawn))) you do create something beautiful in your words; I love your Thankful Thursday entries; even in the midst of your suffering and pain, you do always write such moving entries of what you are thankful for


Lori said...

I do love this poem. Thank you for sharing it with us. I did not know the story behind the poet, though. I hope you are feeling well today and that you have a very good weekend. Be well!
P.S. I like your "What say you then?"

lisa jo said...

That poem is very moving and the more you read it, the more you get out of it. You have a way with sharing jewels. XO

Coelha :B said...

I strongly believe that the best writers are those who speak from the heart. A very good example-with this particular poem-his words truly inspire! Julie

Lisa said...

That is a wonderful poem, thank you for sharing it with us.

moshell's lilbit of space said...

Thank you for sharing that piece of poetry...I am going to print that.


Sandisan said...

((Dawn)) this has always been one of my favorite poems, just for the sheer audacity of the overcoming such adversity. Not one of us feels each others pain (although some of us are extremely empathic) but these words just portray the feelings to a heightened degree. I wish I could wish your pain away my, Sandi

Gillie said...

Thanks for sharing!!