Poems about Perseverance

Illustration Elements


Students read and discussed famous poems about perseverance, resilience, and emancipation. For example, they were introduced to Walt Whitman’s poem, "Oh Me! Oh Life!" and W.E. Henley’s poem, "Invictus".

Students were then asked to create their own original composition in free verse form reflecting on their own struggles and perseverance. As a challenge, they were encouraged to include Henley’s words: “I am the master of my Fate” and “I am the captain of my soul” in a way that credited the original source. Once their poems were finished, each student reflected on their journey of struggle and perseverance.


Student Work Sample

Lost in Thought

Perhaps it is the ending of yet another day
That causes one to realize
To lie awake thinking
Of how fast time flies

Of what will come to be
How people come and go
About what will happen to me
And the events of which I have yet to know

The feeling of being lost
Wishing the clock to slow
So that I have time to catch my breath
Before I need to grow

Stumble into the unknown
On a path chosen by another
Decided upon long ago

When I lose myself in thought
I’ll remind myself that I am in control
For William Ernest Henley once said
I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul

Student Reflection

Lost in Thought: A Reflection

My poem relates to the core competency of Personal Awareness and Responsibility because it speaks to questioning one’s purpose and the idea of destiny; sometimes I feel as if I am lost in my responsibilities as a student as well as many other roles. It is in times such as these that I feel somewhat insignificant compared to how well other people seem to be faring; I tend to pan out or momentarily give up in these situations. Being aware that my choices are the most important in my life will help me feel more in control of myself. Not only do I feel lost in my responsibilities, but I also feel as if time may be going so fast that I can’t keep up with it. I worry too much about what the future holds and about how frighteningly close university and post-secondary life seems to be. To combat this, I can find ways to channel stress out of my mind so that I don’t worry too much; I think that by taking initiative and more responsibility will make me feel more secure and in control in what I will become as a person.

Teacher Reflection

Many students identified this learning experience as one of their favourites. Students saw this exploration into identity as valuable and important. From a personal awareness perspective, their responses were thoughtful and genuine. The reflections were an invaluable and integral part of this process. Students delved deeply into their own experiences and journeys to construct their own meaningful and original compositions.


Profile Analysis


Conscience de soi et responsabilité personnelle