MattAndJojang's Blog

God. Life. Spirituality.


with 2 comments

Nelson Mandela


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.

~ William Ernest Henley

Note: The poem that inspired Nelson Mandela when he was imprisoned on Robben Island for 27 years. He wrote the poem on a scrap of paper. He admitted that each time he was tempted to give up he read the poem, and it gave him the courage to go on during his years of incarceration.


Written by MattAndJojang

July 23, 2012 at 6:15 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I’d forgotten the poem and the story about Mandela. Thanks for the reminder. The message of the poem and the example of Mandela are perhaps more important today than ever before as people try to stand before the tides of history.


    July 23, 2012 at 9:38 pm

  2. Nelson Mandela is, without any doubt, a great man. His example is worth emulating. You’re right – as we face the challenges of our times, we are reminded that no matter how difficult the choices we have to make we always have the power to do the right thing. A reminder, by the way, that our world leaders need to take to heart because, at least it seems to me, leaders like Nelson Mandela who act with integrity and courage are becoming rare.

    ~ Matt


    July 24, 2012 at 8:49 am

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