One of my favourite poems: Come to the edge

This poem by Christopher Logue is one of my all time favourites.

Its speaks on so many layers and is a great analogy on getting out of our comfort zone, to do things we thought impossible before and to take wings. How often have we stood by on the edge and not taking action with the fear of failure. tumblr_lzp9drvi7B1qzivpmo1_500

“Come to the edge,” he said.
“We’re comfortable back here,” they said.

“Come to the edge,” he said.
“We’re too busy,” they said.

“Come to the edge,” he said.
“It’s too high,” they said.

“Come to the edge,” he said.
“We’re afraid,” they said.

“Come to the edge,” he said.
“We’ll fall,” they said.

“Come to the edge,” he said.
And they did.

And he pushed them.
And they flew.

Christopher Logue.

Revisiting “if” by Rudyard Kipling

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“If” by Rudyard Kipling is one of those rare poems that you chance upon in your childhood and its wisdom lingers for life. It a simple rule book on the values and virtues to live life by.

Searched and found some cool graphics on Pinterest and I am inspired to make a poster today for the kids room so that they can see it everyday.

If
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 impostors 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 worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
-Rudyard Kipling

Here are some interesting visuals from Pinterest.

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Master of my fate, Captain of my soul

Invictus is a beautifully crafted poem by William Ernest Henley.

The film on Nelson Mandela uses the title and the poem is narrated by Morgan Freeman (who plays Mandela in the film). The poem and its thought are so inspiring in context of Nelson Mandela and his experience in prison.

It takes great willpower and resilience to be in jail for 27 years and to come out with your spirit intact, if not buoyed by the experience. Mandela was first on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison and left with his soul intact.

The way it is depicted in the film Invictus is so beautiful. It makes you sense the reality of the prison and what he has achieved against this backdrop.

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