Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Saying farewell with a poem

Resignation letters are common in local governments, but one with a poem? That’s a rarity.

When Helen DeGeatano submitted her letter of resignation from the Douglas Downtown Development Authority, she included the 1875 poem “Invictus” by William Henry Henley.

“It kind of represented what I experienced over 12 years being on committees,” DeGeatano said.

She has served on the historical preservation committee and the parks committee as well as the downtown development authority.

“I felt it was time for me to step back and do more with the Dutchers,” she said.

DeGeatano leads the Douglas Dutchers Vintage Base Ball Club, a team that plays 1860s-style base ball. Last year, she helped bring the Basket Factory Vintage Base Ball Festival to Beery Field.

Here’s the poem:


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.

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