William Ernest Henley

(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

Invictus


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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  • N West (8/15/2013 8:25:00 AM)

    How can you thank God in a literary piece without giving Him enough respect to capitalize his name, but to emphasize horror with a capital H? We all know who the god of horror is. This poem is agnostic and no wonder christians don't approve. Also, the fact that he entitled the poem with a latin word (i.e. dead language; language of the Romans who killed Jesus Christ) speaks volumes. My daughter was supposed to memorize this poem for school but instead I have requested a conference with her teacher. It's one thing to go over this in a lesson plan but to have my daughter add this to their long time memory without even a mere explanation or debate amongst her peers just affirms for me that the secret society is thriving. Remember, Timothy McVeigh also invoked this poem before his execution. (Report) Reply

  • Jeff Hughes (8/6/2013 11:45:00 AM)

    Read Matthew 7: 21 for true meaning of Henley's poem. He is cursing Jesus Christ for saying that few enter heaven and that many enter hell. The punishment Henley alludes to is the judgement both old and new testament prophets warned about, and the Christ more than all the rest. this man is shaking his fist at God. He is saying I don, t care about all of your wanings, etc etc etc (Report) Reply

  • William Hauber (8/5/2013 4:07:00 PM)

    Erin: what gies you the idea English is moribund? It is the language of science and invention and has over two million meanings plus the ability to create words (very useful in these days of scientific progress) . The poem expresses the British (traditional) character perfectly: principle and determination, ruled by free will and respect for others' rights. Hats off to the poem and its author! (Report) Reply

  • Mohabeer Beeharry (7/29/2013 6:13:00 AM)

    Plausible strength and objectivity. I like this poem. Strength and determination have no colour or religion. It is belief in oneself.

    Mohabeer Beeharry (Report) Reply

  • Erin Thomas (7/22/2013 12:57:00 AM)

    The closing stanza of this poem will probably be remembered long after English has become a dead language. Very powerful. Very moving. (Report) Reply

  • Uriel Grey (7/12/2013 11:51:00 PM)

    some history on this poem from literature and life in England by dudley miles and robert pooley published 1948 lol love older books sorry no ISBN too old. anyway what it say about INVICTUS:

    [This poem and the next two (where forlorn sunsets, a late lark twitters) were written by a man whose portait is familiar to all readers of Treasurer Island, for Stevenson drew Long John Silver from his intimate friend, William (1849-1903) .
    The Cheerful courage of Henley becomes almost defiant in invictus. The title is a latin word meaning unconquered. The Poem was Written in the hospital where Henley had spent twenty months after he had lost a foot by a kind of tuberculosis.

    anyway there you go awesome love this poem and the where forlorn sunsets is good :) lol (Report) Reply

  • John Vincent (7/7/2013 8:36:00 AM)

    This is brilliant anti-religious poetry. Religions are pure sociopathic fatalism. This poetry smashes that lie. Inshallah? God willing? No. He is the master of his fate. He is the captain of his soul. (Report) Reply

  • Pari Nata (7/4/2013 5:07:00 PM)

    my friend's step-mother makes $66 hourly on the internet. She has been fired for 6 months but last month her paycheck was $20051 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this web site http: //www.zee44.com (Report) Reply

  • John Hardesty (6/30/2013 4:05:00 PM)

    The poem bears mortality in a guessing gracious view of the blest life he has lived thus far! Either by luck or fate, he has sustained! ! (Report) Reply

  • L Garnham (6/28/2013 3:19:00 PM)

    also he's says he's thankful for the gods at the start, he uses what they have given him rather than expecting them to solve his problems for him. (Report) Reply

  • L Garnham (6/28/2013 3:17:00 PM)

    Seems there are a lot of Christians commenting on this, I like this poem, not because it is anti-religion or God, I don't see it as such but because I really admire the spirit of the character it is about. Someone who doesn't give up not matter what life throws at them, that struggles through and keeps going despite all the suffering and pain that they are put through. I see them as someone fighting either for a cause they really believe in or maybe for someone they love (not necessarily a partner, perhaps a child or a friend) .
    I like the message that when it comes down to it we have to solve our own problems we can't expect someone else, not even a god to do it for us. Perhaps that god will say to us I gave you the ability to help yourself and you didn't use it. Why then should I help you? (Report) Reply

  • Rachel Evans (6/25/2013 6:34:00 AM)

    Guys, do you not think that William Henley is entitled to his own view? Surely the theme of the poem is that we alone are masters of our fate. He has no belief in an afterlife but puts his faith in the courage of man when faced with adversity. I do think that to change the words of this poem simply to fit with your own religious belief is to dishonour not only the poet, but your fellow man. Is not each one of us entitled to our own beliefs? (Report) Reply

  • Don Mars (6/20/2013 4:41:00 PM)

    cmon people regardless of relision God has given us the gift and the freedom to chose how we want to live our lives. that is the basis of this masterpiece (Report) Reply

  • Eliza Burgess (6/20/2013 2:54:00 PM)

    Claire. true that Patricia`s stori is shocking, last thursday I got a great Ford Mustang after bringing in $4531 this last month and-a little over,10-k last munth. no-doubt about it, this really is the most financialy rewarding I have ever done. I began this 8-months ago and pretty much straight away was earning at least $78... per/hr., kep2.com (Report) Reply

  • Patrick Kilgallon (6/14/2013 8:30:00 PM)

    I believe that this poem is all about interpretation. I try to see this poem as Nelson Mandela did. He used this poem to inspire him to no matter what the pain, circumstances, or unfairness of a situation of a situation he controlled himself and did not hate the white people who had oppressed him due to apartheid. I understand the controversy around captain of my soul, but I see that as controlling myself. This is what Jesus did. He took the pain and suffering delivered by the Roman soldiers, but he did not hate them. In fact, he loved them as he does everyone. He controlled himself. Christians are supposed to pursue Christ and this poem to me as a Christian doesn't tell me I'm the captain of my soul. I see that as a metaphor for I can control myself and love my enemies. The second greatest commandment. (Report) Reply

  • Devin Baur (6/11/2013 4:33:00 AM)

    Cedric you miss read the poem with you Christian goggles wasn't striving for immortality speaking about endurance controlling the one thing you can control yourself straight doesn't come from dependence unless your child. (Report) Reply

  • Stephen Jones (6/4/2013 12:40:00 AM)

    This poem is so sad. The mortal striving for immortality without God. Impossible. Jesus is the only way. (Report) Reply

  • Camilo Bohorquez (5/8/2013 11:09:00 AM)

    Sedric Ramey, I agree. I learned of this poem in High School and have always loved it without thinking of how it prophesies that I can do it all on my own. That is not true all things are only possible with God. Since High School I have learned to recite this poem in my head a little differently.

    I thank the God i know to be
    for my unconquerable soul

    He [God] is the master of my fate
    He [God] is the captain of my soul. (Report) Reply

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