I am the Captain of My Soul

This sentence has been following me around for years now. And this week it’s become my mantra. I remember seeing it on TV at my Dad’s house in a commercial. I recall it being in a whiskey commercial. You know, like, keep on walking. But it was an ad for the Union Bank of Switzerland in 1997.

Here it is:

The poem was written by William Ernest Henley in 1875 and is called Invictus. He wrote it to symbolize his struggle with tuberculosis. He lived in a time when London was a pearl in the landscape, sarcastically speaking. Someone told me they considered filling in the Thames because it was so filthy. Just think, they could have made a handy motorway through the middle of London, like the Frankenschnellweg–the A73–the Autobahn that cuts through the middle of Erlangen. That was once a canal.

Invictus—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.

Have a wonderful weekend !


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