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Anthony M Limerick / Ireland, Male, 44
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    • POEM: Invictus by William Ernest Henley (1/7/2011 8:38:00 PM)

      Hi everyone. This is a brilliant poem and means a lot to me, as I am sure it does to most of the people who are on this forum.

      Some people in life are moved by words, history, stories...things that people say or have said, I am one of these people and this poem moves me for a number of reasons.

      When I originally found this poem, the part that really hit me, straight away, was the determination of the author (before even knowing his background) just the defiance is inspiring.

      Bit of background on me. I came from humble beginnings and have always been ambitious. I have a good qualification (which took me 8 years to achieve) but now have a good lifestyle. I have a beautiful and kind wife and two lovely children. About 3 years ago I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and was told that I would be on medication for the rest of my life (about 6 different tablets a day) . Anyway without getting into the detail, I refused to accept that my own body would attack me and my mind/body/soul would allow this to happen. I did a lot of soul searching and meditation…… and I have not taken any medication in over 2 yrs and feel fine.

      Anyway I have read all the other comments and would like to add my own 2 cents (very amateur – I have never attempted this before)

      1st verse: he is giving us a summary of his ordeal: he has been to a dark place but thanking whatever (gods) , that he had a strong enough personality to see him through

      2nd verse: gives us some detail, and lets us know that while he has come through this ordeal, that he is not unscathed (ie lost his leg) but still determined, not broken by any means

      3rd verse: he knows there are going to be hard times ahead (this was often the most worrying thing for me when I was first diagnosed, what happens when you get older, how will you provide for yourself etc.) perhaps he is saying he knows life is going to be difficult with one leg, BUT again, makes it clear he is up for the fight and is not afraid to face it

      4th verse: No matter how bad it gets, he is not going to look for excuses or use it as an excuse, as he is taken responsibility for his life, good or bad - which is both courageous and positive.

      This is my take (obviously biased based on my own experiences) .

      I am also on a different journey now, which is also challenging and I am going to use this poem to help me see it through.

      Finally, I would like to thank all the people who have made contributions to this forum about this poem, I have spent the last 3 hours reading all the comments and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. It is amazing how many different views there are on the same 16 lines.