“I am the captain of my soul”

In addition to loving horses, I love rugby, and play on my university’s rugby team. My love of rugby was what prompted me to see the movie Invictus when it first came out in 2009. Morgan Freeman is in it, Matt Damon plays a South African rugby player, what’s not to love? But in watching the movie I discovered far more than I had thought I would about the trials of South Africa after its independence, and just how much Nelson Mandela did for his country. The movie is really amazing, and I ended up reading the book that inspired the movie as well: Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Changed a Nation, by John Carlin. It was a really excellent read and I am so glad that I read it, I highly recommend it to everyone. Oh hey look, here’s a link to buy it on Amazon ūüôā

The title of the movie comes from a poem written by William Ernest Henley, also titled Invictus. I was inspired to create this ds106 assignment after I heard Morgan Freeman reading the poem. Of course, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to top a poetry reading by Morgan Freeman, but nevertheless poetry is often most effective when read aloud. So I created an assignment in which you choose a poem to read, and before you read it, you record why you chose the poem as well.

Here’s my example for the assignment:

In case you’re curious, here is the poem “Invictus” in full.

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.
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0 Responses to “I am the captain of my soul”

  1. Alan Levine says:

    Morgan Freeman is good but so are you. This is a great assignment to connect with poetry, especially as April being the month for it.

    Be sure to add a link to your new assignment

    and include the tags for your post so your Invictus reading is connected as an example.

    And I agree with your assessment of the movie, it was inspiring on all levels of story and performances by the actors.