Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Poetry #5

As promised, my second poetry post of the day. I mentioned in my last post that this was my favorite poem ever; it is. The reason I love this poem so much is the theme: I am in charge of my own destiny. I am the ruler of my fate and I can change it as I see fit. I have always struggled with ideas of predetermination and although I still try to reconcile this idea with free choice, like so many other dualities I have faced I have begun to find a balance where both can exist, but that is a philosophical talk for another day.

Though I do not want to bring a negative light to such inspirational words, I would just like to mention (because I am sure there are some of you who already know and even more who do not) that this poem was recited by Timothy McVeigh (Una-bomber) before he was executed for bombing the Oklahoma government building in 1995; these were his last words.


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.

-William Ernest Henley