Contrary to the norm, the choice for my first blog post was a no-brainer. It simply HAD to be Invictus-the one piece of poetry that occupies pride of position on my hostel room wall. I realized long ago that pictures of family or Sherlock staring down at me would simply not do because it wouldn’t be the best reflection of me. For a year, my walls were bare. While my neighbors’ walls graduated from photo frames to posters to graffiti, mine looked forlorn. They were lying in wait.

Sometime during my sophomore year came the moment of epiphany. The relief I experienced then was very real, since I had started to have serious thoughts about my lack of a personality. Once I finally realized what I wanted to decorate my walls with, I immediately set to work, with my trusted fountain pen at my service. With beautiful cursive script, I lovingly inscribed the words which have been my anchor since the first time I heard them recited by Morgan Freeman in the film ‘Invictus’. Really, who can fail to be inspired by this piece?

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.

This poem, written by the English poet William Ernest Henley has been and continues to remain an inspiration to many, including the late African leader Nelson Mandela.

The piece of paper bearing this poem probably covers 1/10,000th of my walls, but somehow, just somehow, my walls look filled to me.


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