Monday, July 9, 2007

What is Surrender?

A few weeks ago, my visual image of "surrender" was of a Prisoner of War with posture stooped, hands cuffed, head down and face filled with shame and defeat.

I no longer have that same image and wrote the following, inspired by your comments, to reflect my new thoughts on surrender.

What is Surrender?

Head lifted, not bowed
Arms outstretched, not folded
Active, not passive
Acceptance, not resignation
Freedom, not confinement
Letting go, not giving up
Victory, not defeat


Anonymous said...

Susan, I've always liked this poem too:


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.

Lisa C.

Suzy Keleher said...

For me, I would also add to those beautiful and articulate words: trust and faith, belief and hope..."I was going to Italy but ended up in Holland...and it was just as beautiful"...these are the words from an author's prose that I have enjoyed in the past. Our plans went this way but a turn of events sent us another way...surrender...making the best of those changes as we humanly can.

Margaret Finnegan said...

It's beautiful, Susan. As are the pics, and as are you.


Karen said...


Your poem is beautifully simple and eloquent, like the finest Japanese art (visual and verbal)!

I guess what best summarrizes the differece between surrender and defeat for me is one word: LOVE. If you surrender with love, and not with with humiliation or hatred or regret, then surrender is victory.

I can't imagine you surrending except with love. Your sparkling, mischievous and perceptive eyes, your easy smile, the generous attention you bestow on people when you talk to them, the imagination with which you grasp what others mean and need, the grace and humor with which you do everything, even clumsy things!, are only a few of the definition of the word "Love" which appear in my personal dictionary of life.

Right now I'm taking an outstanding online poetry class, taught by a Stanford professor (anyone can take Stanford's online courses). It's a terrific class. But you know what? This blog is every bit as enlightening. Your posts are extraordinary, as are those of your many friends. The love, generosity and intelligence that appear throughout this blog are a wonder. And, when I make my own posts in response to your thought and feeling provoking ones, I discover things I didn't know I knew, I see life more insightfully and with more patience and thankfulness. Your blog is a real gift! Thank you!

Mrs. Duck

Lilli said...

Beautiful poem. Beautiful insights, as always.


Emmy said...

I love your poem. I'm printing it out and taping it to the wall next to my desk as a constant reminder :-)
Big e:hug

Susan Carrier said...

What a gift that we're all able to give one another by sharing.