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Sunday, April 24, 2016

New Year's Day

From My Mother’s Poetry Notebook: Oxenham’s New Year’s Day
Each man is captain of his soul,
And chooses his own crew;
But the Pilot knows the unknown seas,
And he will bring us through.
~ John Oxenham
Mom typed out only the above verse, but I thought I had heard this before so I looked it up. Oxenham wrote a longer poem which can be found here:
But it also reminded me of another poet’s exploration/interpretation of a similar theme. William Ernest Henley wrote “Invictus” which uses similar imagery but really gives a message rather opposite to Oxenham’s. Text and background info can be found here:
I remember one of Mom’s brother’s reciting both these poems. I wonder if she shared with him or him with her, or if Grandma or Grandpa Troyer enjoyed poetry and this was a family favorite? I think it’s most likely Mom shared with Uncle Omar.

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