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Invictus

Sometime back I watched a movie, Invictus. The movie is based on a book by John Carlin, Playing The Enemy: Nelson Mandela and The Game That Changed a Nation. In the movie Nelson Mandela quotes the poem Invictus, written by W.E. Henley, which inspired him to “stand when all he wanted to do was lie down.”

INVICTUS:

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.

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If

Some poems leave behind an indelible mark on the memory. There effect never seems to fade. One such poem is If written by Rudyard Kipling.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

Continue reading “If”

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In The End

The other day I was talking to a friend. Spontaneously I made reference to the  song In The End by Linkin Park. I hate hard rock but the poetry in this song is so expressive and deep which makes listening, and reading the lyrics as well, a treat. Here, it goes…

(It starts with)
One thing, I don’t know why
It doesn’t even matter how hard you try
Keep that in mind, I designed this rhyme
To explain in due time
All I know
time is a valuable thing
Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings
Watch it count down to the end of the day
The clock ticks life away
It’s so unreal
Didn’t look out below
Watch the time go right out the window
Trying to hold on but didn’t even know
Wasted it all just to
Watch you go
Continue reading “In The End”

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Mind Without Fear

I vividly remember reading this poem for the first time in my 8th standard. Ever since then I felt deeply connected, in some mysterious way,  to this beautiful piece of creation from Gitanjali, a masterpiece written by Rabindranath Tagore.

Where the mind is without fear
and the head is held high;

Where knowledge is free;

Where the world has not been
broken up into fragments by narrow
domestic walls;

Where words come out from
the depth of truth;

Where tireless striving stretches its
arms towards perfection;

Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the dreary
desert sand of dead habit;

Where the mind is led forward by
thee into ever-widening thought and
action—

Into that heaven of freedom, my
Father, let my country awake.

~Rabindranath Tagore

P.S: My “Where” series poems are inspired from this poem!

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The Song of The Free

Surfing through the internet I came across a beautiful, thought-provoking poem written by Swami Vivekananda in 1895.

The wounded snake its hood unfurls,
The flame stirred up doth blaze,
The desert air resounds the calls
Of heart-struck lion’s rage.

The cloud puts forth it deluge strength
When lightning cleaves its breast,
When the soul is stirred to its in most depth
Great ones unfold their best.

Let eyes grow dim and heart grow faint,
And friendship fail and love betray,
Let Fate its hundred horrors send,
And clotted darkness block the way.

All nature wear one angry frown,
To crush you out – still know, my soul,
You are Divine. March on and on,
Nor right nor left but to the goal.

Nor angel I, nor man, nor brute,
Nor body, mind, nor he nor she,
The books do stop in wonder mute
To tell my nature; I am He.

Before the sun, the moon, the earth,
Before the stars or comets free,
Before e’en time has had its birth,
I was, I am, and I will be.

The beauteous earth, the glorious sun,
The calm sweet moon, the spangled sky,
Causation’s law do make them run;
They live in bonds, in bonds they die.

Continue reading “The Song of The Free”