To write is to risk. It is creation just as tangible a product as a painting or sculpture. I've found inspiration, solace and hope in the writings of those who risked.
It occurs to me that as we read a poem or an essay that has found renown - we see only the words presented by the author. The circumstances that formed the thoughts that moved the author to write the work are unknown. This is a gift - it allows us to adopt the words as our own.
The following poem is one that inspires me:
Invictus by William Ernest Henry
I have no idea what challenges faced William Henry - but believe the night that covered him, "the black pit" - was as real as any I may face. For the unalienable gift of freedom - and to be the captain of my soul - I'm grateful, and for his poem that reminds me that the decision surrounding my fate is my own.