Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Aspiration

Often you read wonderful stuff that you never forget. Sometimes though, you read things that make you wonder if you could ever have thought writing like that was possible. The words inspire an awe in the reader and bind him in a spell....

This is one of my all-time favourites. "Invictus" in Latin, means "Unconquerable".

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 "Invictus"

If one were to read about the author (or poet, if you will), the admiration is doubled....but I would rather just allow the words to sink in,than think of what tangible event inspired them....and allow the emotions for the poet to dilute the effect of his words.....

The sad thing about this stunning piece though is that Tim McVeigh's blasphemy is responsible to a great extent for publicising it. The terrorist used these as his last words.......if ever there was a wrong use thought of for something of great depth and beauty, this was it.....sad but true.

Another stunning piece that I can't get out of my mind is by a person who is totally different from Henley. His is perhaps the most famous name in literature.....

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

- William Shakespeare "Macbeth"

These words are too beautiful and deep for me to believe that he just wrote them without feeling the words......

5 comments:

luke said...

The soul can actually be an immense source of strength...undoubtedly which holds the true essence of a being in real terms ...the other one holds quit a sad note ..

leprechaun in a bottle said...

about cheeky devils inc, well that was just written in a moment of frustration, i hope the next one 'with or without you' and this last one 'i'm just a dreamer' balances out the equation, there's no ill feelings, i don't like them occupying my space. it was all in the moment. nothing longer.

MTFBWY \|/

Anonymous said...

ahoy..long time here....jus back after the 4th term break..5th and 6th looks like one loong vacation !! hehe...

sup wid u ?....njoying the 2nd year ?

Suhas

RiSHi sArAf said...

hi, i also remember when timothy Mcveigh of the oklahama bombings said this poem before his injection for death but something was strange in that incident have u seen Mike Moore(9/11 fame) it mentions about the incident and how a school dropout. Timothy must have thought that he is "unconquered" by doing a great act of courage by accepting the death with pride.Chal it was an incidence "the death of timothy mcveigh and he saying the poem which haas got imprinted into my memory..

Chalo i will m going to rad ur post now

Peter Varma said...

Great peotry! Rgds, Pankaj (Peter) Varma http://petervarma.blogspot.com 91 9810000163 Gurgaon New Delhi India