The concept of the “hundreds” in Matched really touched a nerve with me. Only one hundred poems, songs.....what?! Everyone knows that I’m pretty passionate about music but when I mentioned at book club that I was a fan of poetry the girls were, on the whole, incredulous. Maybe it would come off as more believable if I added that I like it best when it rhymes? So I decided that now and then I’m going to subject you to some of my more favorite poems in whole or part.
I may have repressed most of my grade school experience but for whatever reason certain poems have stuck in my head, and Invictus is one of those poems. In my teen years when I “discovered” it, it spoke to my more melodramatic side. Then the movie of the same name came out and I decided from then on that when I read this poem, in my head, it would always be narrated by Morgan Freeman. (I have to share the trailer, even though he recites only two lines. And this is by no means a movie endorsement, I enjoyed the trailer more than the movie.)
By William Ernest Henley
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.
Anybody else ever wish Morgan Freeman would read to them?