Wednesday, 10 February 2010

A true romantic?


With the sun setting behind the skyscrapers, he lay in the Botanic Gardens, engrossed in his book. Tattooed upon his thigh, four verses of a poem ...

After much enlarging, and teasing of shapes, the second last line unlocks this:

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.


Invictus by William Ernest Henley (1849 - 1903)

29 comments:

Sean said...

That is a fantastic photograph Julie.... wish I had taken it!!!! I love the lighting and the angle!

Luis Gomez said...

Julie what a beautiful image. Love the light.

Shelle said...

now there's a committed reader....maybe i should say committed photographer lol. brilliant

Woody said...

Beautiful shot. I have to imagine that tattoo must have been painful - that's a lot of letters.

m_m said...

Perfect shot!

TheChieftess said...

Wonderful shot Julie!!! (and a very sellable image!!!)

Jouir la vie said...

The picture with the poem is fantastic...
Servus and so long
Kvelli

Susan said...

That's a great image, poem and post. Congratulations Julie!

mbkatc230 said...

This is a gorgeous catch! The light is so beautiful, and what a fantastic subject. Love it! Kathy

Joan Elizabeth said...

What an excellent photograph,the shade is so beautifully composed the the light highlighting just the right spots, made extra intriguing by that tattoo.

Now as for the poem, it is very stirring but I think to myself, it is a bit like a self-help book, good for the moment and quickly past ... perhaps that's why the man has it on his leg to keep reminding him.

I also wondered what was imprisoning the poet to make him write thus. I have found it was written from a hospital bed some years after tuberculosis had cause his leg to be amputated age 12. Perhaps it is fitting for the tattoo to be on someone's leg!

J Bar said...

Good detective work there Julie. I often wonder why people get certain tattoos. Even if it's a briliant poem that inspires or has some special meaning, why would you have it tattooed in such a prominent spot on your body?
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Ann said...

Great lighting and DoF - what settings did you use?

Davine said...

Oh wow what am amazing tatoo. I haven't commented on your blog for a while, but I just want to say I love your photos, especially the little red boat series.

bitingmidge said...

If I may borrow a summation from one Mr M Leunig,

"that is not Romantic,

it is New Romantic."

;-)

Sunshine Coast Daily Photo - Australia

Kaori said...

I think I'm in love...with the photo and the romantic :)

Julie said...

Joan, I think that to be a harsh judgement on the poem and a judgement that could be written with regard to Whitman, Wordsworth, and much biblical verse.

Ann, the settings for the image were F5.6, 1/800. ISO=100 and 250mm. At that distance, I wanted a very fast shutter speed.

Pierre, I consider my subject to have a romantic soul as evidenced by his lying in the Botanic Gardens in the late afternoon light, with verse tatooed on his leg whilst reading.

ρομπερτ said...

Can't imagine anyone better than you, taking this photography and choice of words to accompany.

A deep bow.

Please have a wonderful Wednesday.

cara said...

Of course he has a romantic soul! If he was New Romantic, he'd have a Depeche Mode or Adam Ant song lyrics tattoo instead...innit?
What a great shot. Inspires the imagination.

~Cheryl said...

Very nice, relaxing photo! Wonderful post!

Lara Neusiedler said...

superb photo! and the subject is for sure worth!

brattcat said...

Julie, this is a very astute 'reading' of your subject in every sense of the word.

Diederick Wijmans said...

A beautiful photo, Julie!! And a wonderful poem.

diane said...

Top shot and a curious charachter.

Paula said...

Did you see Hiker's latest? I thought this great shot might have been her inspiration.

altadenahiker said...

Oh, that's funny. No, the poem would have to be in French.

Vicki said...

Ohhhh... what a thought-provoking shot. A picture is worth a thousand words, except here some of those words are tattooed into permanence.

Jilly said...

How fabulous. You - a poet - and you find these wonderful shot and decipher the poem, no less. Perfection.

4 Lettre Words said...

You have such a great eye, Julie.

IvyC. said...

A lovely depiction - Beautifully framed!