Invictus

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.

William Ernest Henley
256 Comments
John Richter From absolute darkness, the horrid travels through life, bludgeonings, and horrible happenings, he remains grateful to have returned in whole, and to remain unafraid.... I am the captain of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.... Oh how incredibly powerful this! I don't know who recorded this reading - but it was absolutely riveting! Thank you. (1) (1)
Frank Avon I was forced to memorize this poem in ninth grade. Like other poems we were assigned, this one turned me against poetry for years. Until I discovered Kahlil Gibran and then John Keats. Still, sixty years later, this poem represents to me what poetry should NOT be: a high-flown, abstract message spoken in bouncy rhythms and rhymes. No one, in the end, is the master of his fate or the captain of his soul: and no matter how strong and courageous, no one is always unbowed; no one can honestly always say, I have not winced or cried aloud. Give me Langston Hughes' Mother to Son for its honesty, simplicity, and linguistic authenticity: Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.... (11) (50)
Walterrean Salley Mr Henley has done an incredible job with this poem. Among the favorites that I committed to memory years ago. (22) (7)
Aftab Alam Khursheed This is one of the best poem of the poet A cliff stood high (17) (6)
Sagnik Chakraborty An all-time favourite of mine, the poem's about indomitable courage in the face of all odds. Incidentally, after I read it for the first time, it got etched in my psyche in such a way that I adopted its title, meaning 'unvanquished' in Latin, as a part of my Email ID. I'll always love this magnificent verse by Henley. (19) (12)
Brent Cohick Ok, I find it very disheartening, the absolute darkness of this piece. To look into the beauty of creation and not be able to see a creator, one must simply be blind. it's like gazing at a Rembrandt and saying that's a blank canvas with some chicken scratch on it. To believe that all of this is formed at chance? I am proud to say I'm not stubborn enough to have never bowed my head to God. I am humbled by what my Master did for me. His name is Jesus. (40) (115)
Gangadharan Nair Pulingat I am the captain of the soul......wonderful creation of poem. (47) (15)
Nancy Oyula Nothing but excellence....... (46) (16)
Ben Miller He displaces perfectly contradicting theories of being a tool of fate (when he speaks of gods controlling his abilities) or having the choice in your life. Also he shows in the last paragraph that even in the uncontrollable situations that are presented to you, How charged the punishments of the scroll, you are still the captain of your soul. Finally he shows that the ability to think critically about how much control you have over your own life proves that you have at least basic ability. (65) (16)
* Sunprincess * ......an amazing poem....love these lines ~I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.~ truly everyone is the captain of their own soul through space and time, therefore we actually do travel alone.... and not knowing exactly when, where or what time our journey shall come to an end....is the greatest surprise life shall give us.... (69) (18)

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