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Thursday, April 30, 2020

April 30: "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley

The 2020 National Poetry Month poster from


by William Ernest Henley

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.


Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day! That means you should carry around a poem in your pocket today. Pick one you really enjoy. Then, read it to someone or otherwise share it. If you're lucky, they'll have a poem in their pocket, too, to share with you. (If you want to read more about my background celebrating this fab holiday, I wrote a guest post for my friend's book blog back in 2014. You can read it here.) Today, I'll be carrying with me the powerful poem above. (Carrying it around the house since, you know, lockdown. But still. It'll be in my pocket per the rules!)

I had big ideas for this year's Poem in Your Pocket Day festivities, but obviously the pandemic had other plans. So my plans have to wait until we can, you know, leave our houses and come within 6 feet of one another. But we'll get there. Here's hoping we'll have a vaccine by next April (that's probably too soon to have one ready yet, but we're gonna hope for it just the same!) 

Today is also the last day of April, which means the last day of daily poems. Thank you for joining me this month. I hope you read a poem or two (or ten!) that spoke to you and made you smile or laugh or sigh or feel understood. 

Here's to all the beautiful words we shared this month. Here's to the poetry. Be well, friends.

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