Friday's Five: Inspirational Poetry

It all started when I watched Invictus last week [really worth seeing] and realized that Mandella was a great thinker, South Africa looks amazing and I had to read the poem which the movie is named after because it was so inspirational which led me onto a search of more inspirational texts.

Invictus by William Ernest Henely

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.

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou


Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

The Cloud by Percy Bysshe Shelley


I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain
The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.

If by Rudyard Kipling


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

And last but definitely not least my own personal favorite:

Desiderata by Max Erhmann

Full Text:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952


  • At 2010.01.22 17:02, Sameha said:

    Read fist 2 :) found u on twitter :) the rest will be read soon :)

    • At 2010.01.25 15:35, jessyz said:

      Ana fe kol 7etta :-)

      • At 2010.01.22 18:53, Rasha* said:

        Great picks, thank you for sharing.
        I think that “If” is specially unique…i can’t think of another poem that contained such wisdom.

        • At 2010.01.25 15:34, jessyz said:

          Glad you liked them

          • At 2010.01.24 02:00, Amira AK said:

            Ah. Lovely, Jessyz. simply lovely.
            my personal inspirational piece of poetry (well, it’s prose, but if you think that it was written from Rilke, the poet, in his “Letters to a Young Poet”, then you’ll forgive that it’s prose:

            How should we be able to forget those ancient myths, those myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses. Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses,who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrble is, in its deepest being, something helpless that wants help from us.
            So you must not be frightened … when a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen. Or a restiveness, like light and cloud shadows passes over your hand, and over all you do. You must think that life has not forgotten you. That it holds you in its hands. It will not let you fall.

            • At 2010.01.25 15:36, jessyz said:

              I love it. I absolutely love it, I’ll go read the rest of it.

              • At 2010.01.24 11:32, Amira AK said:

                Jessyz, you might like to read this:
                it’s an article in The Guardian on Adjoa Andoh (who played Mandella’s chief of staff) and the film.

                • At 2010.01.25 15:36, jessyz said:

                  Thanx for the link, interesting stuff.

                  • At 2010.01.24 12:53, Nerro said:

                    Jessy and Amira…cannot thank you enough for the brilliant start of the day 😀

                    • At 2010.01.25 15:36, jessyz said:

                      Zuruna tagedo ma yasorokom 😀

                      • At 2010.01.25 01:44, Mermaid said:

                        Oh, My! You do have a very fine taste :)I LOVED your favorite poem. It says it all :))

                        Amira, thank you very much for the amazing excerpt!

                        • At 2010.01.25 15:37, jessyz said:

                          Thanx. Maybe I should do a post on inspirational letters. 😀

                          • At 2010.01.26 00:38, ze2red said:

                            Thank you thank you thank you.
                            This is lovelyyyy… And do those inspirational letters sometime, we will all enjoy :)

                            • At 2010.01.28 10:01, Hajar Alwi said:

                              Dear oh dear … you must made me fall in love with poetry all over again! 😀

                              • At 2010.01.28 11:55, jessyz said:

                                I am glad you enjoyed it, I am writing an Arabic Poetry one for tomorrow

                                • At 2010.04.18 04:19, ericka davis said:

                                  Thank you for the inspirational poems!