A good friend and I are working through an interesting exercise: creating our own personal manifestos. These aren’t the manifestos that you may be familiar with, those that deal with divergent political or social philosophies. Our manifestos are being built to help us focus ourselves on a daily basis. They are meant to be a tool we use to evaluate our lives over time and stay true to those things we believe or strive towards. While working on my manifesto, I came across this article over at The Art of Manliness. While very informative and helpful, the author also references the famous poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley. I am always struck by this poem and will strive to find a place for it in my manifesto or, at the very least, in my daily affirmations of self. Here is the poem text for your reading enjoyment:
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.