I find myself in a contemplative mood as I consider the national and international outpouring of love and respect for Nelson Mandela. I too celebrate the remarkable achievements that this man spearheaded and the character that he demonstrated. Sadly through, I mourn the fact that although we may revere his attitude and passion,few of us do little to emulate it, preferring to hang on to grievances and feeding on hate.
This poem 'Invictus' (Unconquered, Undefeated) by William Henley was one that inspired Mandela; he had it written on a scrap of paper in his prison cell while he was incarcerated for 27 years on Robben Island.
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.
Here is a larger version
This photograph is copyright of Rosemary Walden - © Rosemary Walden 2013. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of the image in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with my express written permission, copy, reproduce, download, distribute or exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system
Critiques | Translate
Nicou (116652) 2013-12-08 1:27
comme une grosse araignée sueprbe iamge quel tronc posé sur ce sable avec le bouts noirs sueprbe iamge.
Bravo et amitié
seres76 (702) 2013-12-08 1:31
It's a nice capture. Thanks...
siudzi (32455) 2013-12-08 1:54
This is very eye catching and attractive picture taken with a very special mood due to the photographed lights and tonality. Like it a lot! Very well seen and executed to achieve such a charming sight. Many thanks for sharing!
papagolf21 (83264) 2013-12-08 2:20
Bonjour, chère Rosemary,
Encore une photographie de qualité. L'image est superbe.
Tout est dit à travers cette composition.
rbassin (16332) 2013-12-08 2:27
C'est une superbe prise de vue, le tronc est magnifique et contraste avec les teintes pastelles de la plage.
olive224 (2719) 2013-12-08 3:03
Great capture, we have no clue for the scale of the wood piece, it could be small or huge , and that is part of the interest of the image ;)
I like the pastel colors and the slow shutter speed effect too.
Maybe a little less of sky would be fine too ?
trevormoffiet (2452) 2013-12-08 3:08
Your image does invoke a contemplative mood. It is a deceptively strong image. For me the image is about life.
snunney (79823) 2013-12-08 3:37
This giant piece of flotsam has all the allure of a Dr Who monster! I like how you have framed it and, especially, the lovely soft light and pastel tones. The accompany poetry is very thought provoking and does indeed seem to sum up the man.
Romano46 (16580) 2013-12-08 3:39
una foto enigmatica nel suo contenuto, simili ad un ragno enorme e mostruoso che emerge dal mare per risalire verso la terra, forse l'emblema del razzismo che non muuore mai.
Eccellente la ripresa con sfumature di colore e di toni di grandissimo livello.
Belle e totalmente da condividere le note.
Ciao e buona domenica
delpeoples (52543) 2013-12-08 4:00
Another beautiful dedication to this extraordinary man. I love the soft pastel tones, especially on the horizon, again symbolic of the soft, forgiving nature of Mr Mandela. The slow shutter has worked wonders on the water around the "feet" of the tree trunk and the soft, tranquil atmosphere is perfect for the reflection that both this historical moment and the haunting poem demand.
Thanks for sharing, best wishes
williewhistler (12555) 2013-12-08 4:07
I do like the pastel shades that you have used on this imaginative composition with the multi legged monster perfectly placed in the frame.
A thought provoking image and note.
Kindest regards Les.
Gigidusud (13441) 2013-12-08 5:26
Superbe composition sur la plage avec de jolies couleurs pastel et ce gros "crabe" en premier plan. Bien vu!
Sergiom (54757) 2013-12-08 5:36
J'aime beaucoup le point de vue très bas choisi qui donne l'impression d'être à la hauteur des yeux de la bestiole qui semble se diriger vers toi. Un petit côté très intriguant.
jacquest (18189) 2013-12-08 5:40
This is an eye catching thumbnail and more so still on the large version. I like the pastel tones and the way the piece of wood seems to crawl toward us. Thank you for your touching note.
batalay (34773) 2013-12-08 6:02
Thank you for the thoughtful essay, and for presenting the whole of William Henley's "Invictus." I'm ashamed to say that I had not googled it myself. It really does capture the spirit that fueled his indomitable patience during those interminable years. The photograph reminds me of a hermit crab, the only creature on earth, which according to NASA, can withstand 200G's of gravity, reminiscent of the oppression this man withstood.
Noel_Byrne (20958) 2013-12-08 6:26
This is a beautiful image, and haunting too just like your note. The poem is beautiful, and you have made me stop and think. You raise such a great point that the outpouring of grief is a great mark of respect, but what will we do to change ourselves? Will we go back to hate and war and prejudice after the dust has settled? I certainly hope not, and I will do my utmost to do something differently in my own life.
Its a strange vision that you have captured here, the tree is dead and that fact jumps out of the screen when we click on it. But looking at its shape and how it holds itself, it also appears to be dancing. Symbolic of the grief in South Africa we see on television at the moment, where the people grieve by celebrating the life of the great man, by song and by dance. Just like this tree.
Beautiful image Rosemary, with stunning colors and a great deep meaning.
Thanks as always
rychem (19523) 2013-12-08 8:32
Superb! Fantastic spider, the graphical effect is perfect, compliments
parvatibb (1367) 2013-12-08 8:41
Looks like a giant crab! the colors are very soft and love the pink tones in the stock. the mood is very calm and soothing.
I never try this shutter speed with waves, next time I should try.
holmertz (37209) 2013-12-08 10:06
No matter in what kind of mood we watch this it's a very beautiful photo. The strange creature of dead wood is captured along with some amazing pastel colours in a composition that radiates serenity. I find it very suitable for these days of contamplation, and worry about the future of South Africa.
brianmcc (6005) 2013-12-08 11:28
hi rosemary, very moving and appropriate notes in respect to a great man. the picture is stunning. i love the definition and detail in the wood. while the surrounding colours are wonderfully rendered, i especially love the line of pale blue from the sea.
carlo62 (27864) 2013-12-08 13:55
hai cercato e trovato un'immagine molto particolare da abbinare alle parole della poesia, si possono dare molte interpretazioni, io ho immaginato questo albero come una grande forza della natura, che è stato abbattuto da uomini privi di scrupoli e ciechi, gli stessi che ha combattuto Mandela.
jjcordier (73378) 2013-12-08 21:56
Ce "crabe géant" se détache de belle façon sur l'arrière plan. Les tons pastels très pâles sont remarquables. L'association poème-photo est un bel hommage à ce grand homme.
Cricri (101585) 2013-12-09 4:49
Telle une sculpture naturel, original et superbement présenter avec une note magnifique, une autre belle image pour ce grand monsieur.....
eldancer1 (25288) 2013-12-09 7:45
Looks like a visitor from space! I like the effect of the slow speed. The water look so clear. Awesome capture with good lighting sharp details. Well done, tfs.
resat1972 (7275) 2013-12-09 10:24
Good Evenin Rosemary
An interesting trees
very nice photo with different background
greeting from İstanbul
chrislo (4151) 2013-12-09 11:02
Another beauty from you. Great original composition with the stump in the middle. This peace of wood is just fascinating, halfway between an artwork and a natural thing, contrasting so beautifully with the simple beauty of the seascape. The skyline is well placed to give a strong sense of distance. The quality of the shot is excellent.
dale54 (6317) 2013-12-09 12:25
rosemary hello..i do have to say i love this..something about the color and light..superb! dale
krzychu30 (15332) 2013-12-10 3:03
beautiful composition,that takes on a new,meaningful meaning with your note and the poem.
Today is the funeral ceremony of Nelson Mandela and I think we can perceive this image very individually and figuratively.
annjackman (17869) 2013-12-11 3:24
Simply beautiful! The subtle colours of the sea, sand and sky make a beautiful but unobtrusive backdrop for this weathered piece of dead tree. I enjoyed reading your note.
Kind Regards, Ann
p.s. I watched the Mandela ceremony yesterday on TV. Rather shambolic but had its memorable moments!
Glint (6163) 2013-12-11 5:55
My first thought, even though I could see this is a tree stump, was of a crab crawling from the sea. I gnat crab, although there are no clues to its size. The solidity of the tree roots contrast with the pale soft colours.
Thank you for sharing the poem and tribute to Mandela.
jemaflor (80880) 2013-12-12 4:01
Original and intereting effect, well taken, nice light capture and soft colors, good idea for an hommage,tfs.
mcmtanyel (10621) 2013-12-22 20:28
I was looking to see which photo to critique on this page, clicking on thumbnails (all your photos are nice, BTW). This driftwood that looked, to me, like a giant spider caught my attention. Then I read your note and I can't decide which I like better, the photo or the note. I think you have a lovely photo to accompany a very graceful note, TFS.
Angshu (54765) 2013-12-22 21:45
Hello dear Rosemary
'Invictus'...indeed a poem which inspired the great man..and this picture epitomoses the spirit in a way...the way the dead trunk stands facing the tide hour after hour, day after day...how long it will do so, only time will tell. But what a fantastic allegorical picture this is!
PS : In case if we do not interact within this week, I wish you and all your loved ones a very merry Christmas
tatadalou (5641) 2014-01-07 13:43
Nice tribute to Nelson Mandela through a peaceful and harmonious picture. It's minimalist and sweet. Excellent !