My grandmother who is pictured above, Jean Castrovinci, asked me to memorize this poem by William Ernest Henley. It was one of her favorites, and she said to me. “You will need these words, one day.” Oh, how right she was. This poem has served me well in many instances.
The photo of my grandmother was taken in the 1920s.
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.
In 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 gait,
How charged with punishment the scroll.
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.