William Ernest Henley

(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

Invictus - Poem by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
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Comments about Invictus by William Ernest Henley

  • Gold Star - 69,382 Points Fabrizio Frosini (11/20/2015 8:53:00 AM)


    Out of the night that covers me,
    - - Dal profondo della notte che mi avvolge,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    - - nero come un pozzo da un polo a un altro,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    - - ringrazio qualunque dio possa esistere
    For my unconquerable soul.
    - - per la mia anima inespugnabile.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    - - Nella feroce morsa delle circostanze
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    - - non mi sono tirato indietro nè ho gridato forte.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    - - Sotto ai colpi d’ascia della sorte
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.
    - - il mio capo è sanguinante ma indomito.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    - - Oltre questo luogo di collera e lacrime
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    - - incombe solo l’orrore delle ombre,
    And yet the menace of the years
    - - eppure la minaccia degli anni
    Finds and shall find me unafraid.
    - - trova, e mi troverà senza paura.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    - - Non importa quanto sia stretta la porta,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    - - quanto piena di punizioni la pergamena,
    I am the master of my fate:
    - - io sono padrone del mio destino:
    I am the captain of my soul.
    - - io sono capitano della mia anima.
    ______________________________ (Report) Reply

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  • Gold Star - 69,382 Points Fabrizio Frosini (11/20/2015 8:51:00 AM)

    Il titolo della poesia, “Invictus”, fa riferimento al latino e significa “non vinto”; venne dato dal critico letterario Arthur Quiller-Couch, che riconobbe la grandezza della poesia aggiungendola alla sua antologia fondamentale delle poesie inglesi.
    All’età di 12 anni, William Ernest Henley rimase vittima del morbo di Pott, una grave forma di tubercolosi ossea. Nonostante ciò, riuscì a continuare i suoi studi e a tentare una carriera giornalistica a Londra. Il suo lavoro, però, fu interrotto continuamente dalla grave patologia, che all’età di 25 anni lo costrinse all’amputazione di una gamba per sopravvivere. Henley non si scoraggiò e continuò a vivere per circa 30 anni con una protesi artificiale, fino all’età di 53 anni.
    La poesia Invictus fu scritta proprio sul letto di un ospedale.
    La poesia era usata da Nelson Mandela per alleviare gli anni della sua prigionia durante l’apartheid.
    (Wiki) (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 37,008 Points * Sunprincess * (11/18/2015 7:47:00 AM)

    ....a superb write ★
    I am the master of my fate (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 231 Points Vivek Mishra (10/29/2015 11:39:00 AM)

    one of the absolute favourites :) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 160 Points Natacha Bressler (9/26/2015 4:35:00 PM)

    I love the line I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. so much, am thinking of getting it as a tattoo (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 14 Points Sean Kearney (9/24/2015 7:05:00 AM)

    To me it seems a pity that this fine poem will always be associated with Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, who chose the final couplet as his last words in the execution chamber. That said, he could hardly have chosen a more apposite poem to quote, given his circumstances and political beliefs.

    Knowing what McVeigh did, challenges the reader to consider whether unapologetic defiance - which resonates in the poem as a whole, and with which McVeigh met his end - is always the noblest instinct, or for that matter, justified. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 11,419 Points Seema Jayaraman (9/18/2015 8:30:00 AM)

    I am the captain of my soul..luv the confidence and in charge attitude.. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Nichole Bradshaw (9/17/2015 1:52:00 AM)

    An amazing Poet , this was an masterpiece ! (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 512 Points Dimond Vp (9/9/2015 9:45:00 AM)

    this is my all time favorite poem i memorized it all! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 15,460 Points Pamela Sinicrope (9/6/2015 1:01:00 PM)

    I love the drama of this poem...Fun to read aloud! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 9 Points Ecem Gerede (8/4/2015 3:32:00 AM)

    There is a movie called "invictus". Is that movie named after this poem? (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,116 Points Abdalla Juma Shenga (7/16/2015 2:37:00 PM)

    i am the master of my soul. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,323 Points Ovi-enita Odiete (7/13/2015 8:45:00 PM)

    Such an enthralling poem. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,536 Points Briony Nicholls (7/9/2015 5:37:00 AM)

    This is a poem with an irresistible and inspiring message, that is for certain. Yet in spite of its strong assertion that we are indeed the captain of our soul, we are reminded of instances when this may not be entirely true. The effect is like the well known basic law of physics - whatever force is applied against a brick wall, the brick wall applies equal force in opposition so that both are cancelled out. That is how I find myself reacting to this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 352 Points safiya husain (6/13/2015 12:52:00 PM)

    My favorite (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,776 Points Naida Nepascua Supnet (5/19/2015 10:20:00 AM)

    No one can ever help you except yourself
    And no one can decide your fate except you

    Oh William, How good you are. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,537 Points Sally Plumb Plumb (5/18/2015 1:14:00 AM)

    One of my favourite poems. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 287 Points Joen Coronel (5/1/2015 10:56:00 PM)


  • Bronze Star - 2,092 Points val Rogers (4/17/2015 8:40:00 PM)

    Master of my fate. Captain of my soul. Great words great poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie aldo angulo (4/6/2015 6:01:00 PM)

    MARKO... you sir are an idiot! Its clear that you do not appreciate poetry...! (Report) Reply

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