Long ago I read a poem called, “Invictus by William Ernest Henley,” and it quite literally began a love affair between me and poetry. The poem reads;
“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.”
Since that time so long ago, I have loved poetry and have written it myself, often sharing my work in my books (between short stories). A poem paints a picture through the use of candied verbiage, no different than how an artist paints with a brush. A good poem speaks to the soul and creates a bond between the reader and the writer, albeit a brief one.
My favorite poets are;
- Edgard Allen Poe
- William Ernest Henley
- Edward Gorey
- Henry David Thoreau
Whilst I enjoy many others, those mentioned above truly speak to me and paint images as vivid as a portrait. Invictus was, is, and forever shall be my all-time favorite piece, as it is empowering and stands alone amongst those I know by heart.