Finding Strength Through My Favourite Poem

When asked what my favourite poem is, one poem always comes to mind: Invictus by William Ernest Henley. It holds so much power in its entirety that I find it hard to chop up, even though I do have a favourite verse from it (in the italics below).

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.

During my worst bouts of anxiety (especially back when I didn’t know what was happening to me), I would recite this poem by heart over and over. When I feel particularly hopeless or sad, I recite it (sometimes verbally, sometimes in my head). It has always been a source of comfort and strength for me and I find it incredibly inspiring. It’s one of those feelings that words just can’t describe.If you’re thinking that this poem sounds a bit familiar, it’s because it’s in the eponymous movie Invictus. Nelson Mandela had it while in prison and would use it as a source of courage when he no longer wanted to work. It got him through all those atrocities. Whenever I watch that part of the movie, I tear up. Just adding the video here I got a little teary-eyed!

I think it’s good for everyone to have a poem or quote to make them feel powerful, comforted or loved. It doesn’t matter who wrote it or what it’s from (some of my other favourite quotes are from Parks & Rec), it just matters that it has meaning to you and makes you feel good.

What is your favourite poem or quote? Let me know! I’m always looking for more inspiration :)

Mental Health, Musings
previous post
next post

No Comments

Leave a Reply