“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 bludgeoning 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.”


-William Ernest Henley

I believe this poem speaks to many people as well. Very powerful, a little bit harder to fully understand (than Bukowski’s No Help For That) being written in the late 1800’s. But I’m sure you understand the meaning of it. If not, try to read every line, carefully.

I found this when I was down in the dumps, around my Junior year of high school. I actually forgot about it for a long time, until I actually found it again a couple of days after I graduated. I thought it was perfect timing.

It actually surprised me that I never got taught this in school. If you remember high school, whether it was good, bad or in the middle. You may have felt lost, and terrible, like me. I feel like If I was able to learn and fully understand this in school, I think it would have helped me and many other teenagers.

We live the life we choose. It is hard. Life isn’t fair a good amount of time. But it’s worth it!

I’ve said this many times before. I believe everything happens for a reason, through the good and even the bad times. It says right there in the poem, that person never gave up, through the blood, sweat, and punishments. & That persons life is their own. Like yours is your very own as well.

You can’t blame anyone else for your life. We all have choices, we all have paths. Its ours whether we want to take it or leave it. Yes the journey of life is incredibly hard for the things we want. We have our goals that take a long time to get. That’s the point of taking so long, its fun, its hard, It is the journey of life.

Also I feel like today or maybe its just me and my peers feel like we need a savior, a knight shining armor, someone to save us from ourselves and from falling into our deep hole but this poem had no ‘savior’ It reminded me I have to save myself, you can’t plead for someone to save you when you can’t even help yourself. I’m not at all trying to say not to ask people for help, but I don’t believe someone could “SAVE” me when I can’t even try to save myself.


  I hope when you are older you are proud of your accomplishments, proud of the obstacles you jumped through, and even the mistakes you failed because no doubt you learned from them.

Sincerely Yours Jolee G.


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