Endurance & Resilience: The Gift of Poetry

The Victorian-era poet William Ernest Henley. was no stranger to adversity and struggle. His father died when he was a teenager and struggled with his own serious health issues. At age 12 Henley was received a diagnosis of tubercular arthritis which resulted in partial amputation of one of his legs. Henley made his own stand against misfortune by writing poetry; engaging his creative talent to express his stoicism.  In that respect ‘Invictus’ is one of his most famous of contributions and is a reminder of what Viktor Frankl termed ‘the defiant nature of the human spirit’. The last verse is particularly poignant:

‘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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