When I was growing up, my parents often quoted poetry to us. They did this to inspire, reassure, and at times bring humor to our lives. When they were in school, they were required to memorize all kinds of poems. In school we did this as well, but not as often. They remembered these poems forever. In addition, they passed on other poems. My mom was especially fond of Stevenson and A Child’s Garden of verses. That was actually the first book I owned. She dearly loved Longfellow’s The Children’s Hour and recited it so often to and with me that it is forever in my heart. Daddy LOVED Shakespeare. He had a wonderful sense of humor and dearly loved The Cremation of Sam Legee.
Both of my parents loved and recited Invictus. They quoted it frequently to kick us out of doldrums or help us be stronger. Today, a friend posted that her mom just passed on and that Invictus was a favorite poem of her mom too. Isn’t it funny how poetry, music, and art weave our life tapestry?
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.