Monday, September 25, 2006

I need to update my links to fellow bloggers. If any of you list my blog on your blog and you don’t see your name listed on my blog, please leave a comment so that I can add you. Thanks.

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I received a rejection on Saturday from the Burnside Review. One of the editors wrote “Thanks” and signed his or her initials. The text of the rejection slip invited me to submit again in the future.

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Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand—a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods—or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values.

--Willa Cather

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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.

--William Ernest Henley


From Wikipedia:

Invictus is a short poem by the British poet William Ernest Henley that is the source of a number of familiar clichés and quotations. The title is Latin for "unconquered". It was first published in 1875.

The poem in popular culture

In this poem, Henley gave the world the familiar phrases "my head is bloody, but unbowed" and "I am the master of my fate". These lines have been quoted many times by people who may not be familiar with the source. They seem an hyperbolic epitome of the "stiff upper lip" that popular culture has made of traditional British virtue and a comforting image of stoicism in the face of disaster.

In the climax of the 1942 film, King's Row, the poem is recited by Parris Mitchell (Robert Cummings) to friend Drake McHugh (Ronald Reagan) in an effort to overcome the latter's depression following a permanent injury.

It is also the name of an album by the Heavy Metal band, Virgin Steele, which use occasional lines of the poem as lyrics on the album.

Outlaw Country Music singer/songwriter David Allan Coe also named a 1980 album after the poem, calling it "Invictus Means Unconquered", reprinting the poem on the back sleeve, coupled with an original poem apparently intended as an homage and personal follow-up, to the Henley original.

The poem recently gained further notoriety for being quoted by the American terrorist Timothy McVeigh, who used it in a communiqué released shortly before his execution for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing. He used the full poem as his final statement in 2001.

More recently, American terrorist Eric Rudolph alluded to the poem when in court for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 20, 2005. Rudolph made the following remarks: "By the grace of God, I am still here -- a little bloodied, but emphatically unbowed".

This poem was also used in the WB teen drama, One Tree Hill.

The American flashlight company Surefire uses this poem as part of an advertisement.

The poem is also the motto of BUD/s Class 228 in the song, "The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228" by Dick Couch. It represents the indomitable spirit of the class members who finished the grueling Basic Underwater Demolition School training in their quest to become Navy SEALs.

The Invictus is also the name of a covenant of vampires in a role playing game published by White Wolf Publishing. The Game is called "Vampire: the Requiem".

Nelson Mandela famously quoted this poem during his prison years on Robben Island.

The Belgian black metal band Ancient Rites uses the poem as lyrics to their song Invictvs on the album Rvbicon.

3 Comments:

At 1:03 PM, Blogger jeannine said...

I'm still hoping some kind of metal band uses my poems as lyrics...it's not too late!

 
At 5:21 PM, Blogger Gerald Huml said...

I know what you mean. It would be cool!

 
At 12:00 AM, Blogger VNTuongLai said...

You’re invited to view my video “Bat Khuat (Tap 4)” which features the song Bat Khuat that was inspired by the poem Invictus.
URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul9AcIDleIw

 

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