This is my Poetry Seminar Response and what I think about the poem. Invictus is a hopeful poem, a poem that when you think you have reached the end of the road, teaches you to look around and see if any other doors are open. In my perspective, the poem, Invictus, brings the idea of self-forgiveness to the table.
Forgiveness is what liberates the soul. Forgiveness is a key, which unlocks the chain that shackles us to the ground, anchoring us to the floor. During this all, we are thinking about are the what ifs, the what I should have done. All we do is look up to the sky and wonder, what it would be like to be free. However, when we are in that state the question, ‘what I can do to fly again’ never arises. And, if we do not forgive then these chains will pull you closer to your self-created hell and bring you to your knees, making you beg and cry for freedom.
If we forgive, learn to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made, then the chains of self-torture and self-hatred will break, allowing us to fly to the sky with the knowledge of the horrors down below. Living in the past, with the memories of your errors it will not help you, but destroy you, piece by piece. Now, I myself am no saint, I have a bad past and so do you, but the time will not wait for you to catch your breath.
Isn’t fascinating that when a child is asked what they want to do when they grow older, they respond with ideas that we think are impossible, however they believe the sky has no limits, that there are an endless amount of possibilities wait for them to grasp out and catch them. Then, problems come into their life, expectations. And it is grabbing the child’s feet with their sharp and dark claws pulling them to the ground, pulling them where we all are. Making them look up to all the things they could have done, but didn’t do. They forget to reach out, grab and hold on to the dreams they had; they believe this is their fate, their destiny. Causing them to not look at what they can do, because now risks are too risky.
What will I do if I fail? Will I never reach my goals? Will I ever be happy?
They do not see that life is full of risks, and if you do not stand up to them, looks at them in the eye and defeat them; then what is the point of living. While they are chained, all their failures are being shoved into their face, the hands once pulling them down, are now the one’s causing that doubt. And now the child is on the ground, with everyone else, “grown up”, not setting goals anymore, but limitations. We are the one’s that cause this doubt.
Now, I must sound like I am shouting at you, I am sorry. However, if our own doubt, is getting in the way of us thriving and be the best we can be, then why be longer in it. Now, I am not saying that you should never be guilty because guilt is what allows a mistake to be learned. However, I believe, if we were to forgive ourselves, accept the mistakes we have made then it will be not only beneficial for our success but also our well-being.