Common Place Book #4

“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.”

-“Invictus” William Earnest Henry

In latin, Invictus means unconquerable. It is a fitting name for the poem. These four lines from “Invictus” by William Earnest Henry capture the meaning of unconquerable behind the poem. Of these four lines, the lines that stand out are the last two. They speak to a reality that many people feel they live. There are countless people who do not feel that they have control of their lives. I assume that at Georgetown (although I have never actually been) many people could be found living this reality. These lines act as an inspiration to those people. While much of the poem can seem over dramatic, these last lines speak to everyone. Whether you are in prison or simply struggling with the work load in school, these four lines work to inspire you that you are always in control of your soul and what you do in life. They helped inspire Nelson Mandela when he was locked in prison, and they can help inspire a struggling student. It is the ease at which people can feel effected by these words that makes them so powerful. And lets be honest, they also so really nice when said out load.

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