by William Ernest Henley
I recently had the amazing opportunity to hear Maya Angelou speak where she revealed that this poem had great meaning for her and her son. At the time I was 7 months pregnant and decided then and there that my child would someday learn this poem and its very important message. I have had a few circumstances throughout my pregnancy that I was unable to control and this poem helped me gain some perspective. I appreciate the spirit of perseverance this poem represents and hope to instill that quality into my son Bo’s life through this poem.
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