Where does the good go

Fickle finger of fate

I currently feel all verklempt being all sans laptop and living the life of a nomad.
I can’t believe I nearly missed poetry Wednesday last week AND I must confess I’m ill prepared this week. However, excuses given, here is my selection for this week. Invictus.
I’ve been thinking about the themes of this poem for many years now. I was once a very driven person. Competitive by nature, with some talents, I set goals for myself and knocked them down one by one. Some were silly: joining as many groups in high school as I could so I’d have a bunch of yearbook pictures; others were lofty: graduate law school before I turned 25. Yet, if I decided I would do it, I did it. And then, I sorta reached a natural end to all that: a high paying, fancy schmancy job and well that was that.
Naturally, once I lost my high paying fancy schmancy job, the goal was obvious: get that shit back! But it hasn’t happened. And honestly, I’m not even sure that’s what I want (shh NOBODY tell my mother. I WILL CUT YOU!)
And I can’t help but wonder if my ambivalence is its own obstacle.
How in control of all this am I? I don’t know. This year has been trying, and unlike the noble narrator in the poem, I very much winced and cried! My head was bloody, bowed and I gave the hell up.
But then, I had my little victories. Yes, they were silly. And no, I didn’t cure cancer. But I did set out to do something and did it!
Maybe, just maybe I can still make my own way in this crazy mixed up world of ours.

Invictus by
William Ernest Henley
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.

4 Responses to “Fickle finger of fate”

  1. Angela Says:

    My soul feels pretty conquerable. I am going to hand-copy this poem out in my little notebook and re-read daily.

    (btw, this poem, I actually understood…look at me, Ma!)

    If it makes you feel any better, I went to law school not out of determination but rather out of ennui, and we’ve pretty much ended up with similiar attitudes about our chosen profession.

    I think this calls for a little more Whitney listening. #TeamWhitney

  2. Dawn Summers Says:

    Hahah, yeah, I think the narrator’s just putting on a big front too…he’s all “menace ofthe years” –menace! He’s so scared!

  3. Tae Says:

    I love this poem and am glad you posted it.

    I also loved the movie.

  4. Consi Says:

    Excellent choice

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