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Peter Rhebergen GTA / Canada, Male, 60
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    Peter Rhebergen's last comments on poems and poets

    • POEM: Invictus by William Ernest Henley (10/18/2010 3:49:00 PM)

      The rewording of a secular (or sacred) song or poem to make an opposite point as a sacred (or secular) song or poem is a form of art known as 'Contrafactum.' I'm sorry that some have been offended that I reworded Henley's 'Invicuts; ' I did this to make a different point than the one Henley makes. My goal was neither to belittle 'Invictus' nor to ride on Henley's coat-tails but to present another viewpoint to the hardships that surround us. If you like it, great. If you don't like it just ignore me; there's no need to be rude.

    • POEM: Invictus by William Ernest Henley (9/15/2010 2:41:00 PM)

      I also have read and appreciated Invictus and have always been impressed by the power of Henley's words. It's easy to see why Invictus has inspired so many people and why it remains so immensely popular today. In spite of this, I find it to be a very dark and depressing poem that stands in contradiction to reality. Regardless of our mastery of our fate, the things that happen to us are completely beyond our control.

      Wanting something similar but conveying more hope, I was moved to write the following (but then, Henley and I probably looked at things differently and he would be as saddened by my words as I am by his) :

      Victus

      Out of the night that covered me,
      black as the pit of death's dark hole,
      I thank the God all know to be
      that He redeemed my conquered soul.

      Beneath fell weight of God’s just wrath,
      my heart in fearful torment fled.
      Yet Christ pursued and took my path!
      I am made whole because He bled!

      Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      loomed death and horror of the shade.
      Thank God He carried all my fears;
      and death shall find me unafraid.

      It matters not how strait His gate,
      how charged with punishments His scroll.
      God’s grace has saved me from my fate;
      He is the Saviour of my soul.