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

  • (2/2/2012 10:56:00 AM)


    ...I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.

    -i aboslutely LOVE this
    (Report) Reply

    74 person liked.
    21 person did not like.
  • Brianna Winebarger (1/20/2012 10:14:00 AM)


    THis poem is excellent and soulful. words can't describe it (Report) Reply

  • (1/14/2012 6:33:00 AM)


    Just one word for it 'invigorating' (Report) Reply

  • (1/9/2012 8:35:00 PM)


    Just beautiful. Every time I read it, I feel so much. When I forget, It reminds me of my personal strength; that part of me no burden can wash away. (Report) Reply

  • (1/6/2012 2:11:00 AM)


    Excellent philosophy.. (Report) Reply

  • (12/26/2011 12:01:00 PM)


    The last two lines lift it. (Report) Reply

  • (11/13/2011 7:30:00 PM)


    too 'sing-songy'
    read a modern book of poetry
    (Report) Reply

  • Georgios Venetopoulos (10/12/2011 5:00:00 PM)


    Excellent, someone may say it is close to mine in quality and strength of expression (Report) Reply

  • (10/5/2011 4:45:00 AM)


    Excellent write, profound sentiments! (Report) Reply

  • (9/13/2011 6:35:00 AM)


    brilliant and uplifting poem! (Report) Reply

  • (9/10/2011 4:43:00 PM)


    Chien
    To the tune of “Invictus”

    Out in the lanes where laughs not Mirth,
    Where maggots thrive 'mid offal fogs,
    A mongrel mutt wreaked lethal birth
    Unto a host of puppy dogs.

    Six guileless hounds were spewed in Hell,
    The dowager vaporing, dead.
    Five unlicked pups heaved blind and fell
    Until but one might Being wed.

    Then I, bereft of Pride's respect,
    My spirit cold spurned to this sty,
    Touched humble fur-O dim reject!
    For me his spark refused to die!

    It matters not how mixed his blood,
    How flea-infected be his skin;
    I now command this canine stud,
    I am the master of Chien.

    - Jack Strange, Would-Be Poems (2001)
    (Report) Reply

  • (8/22/2011 6:34:00 AM)


    Read my poem called, for
    Michael hicky. A true story.
    He was one of the bridgewater four.
    Who was in charge of his fate? .
    (Report) Reply

  • (8/22/2011 6:28:00 AM)


    Read my poem called, for
    Michael hicky. A true story.
    He was one of the bridgewater four.
    Who was in charge of his fate? .
    (Report) Reply

  • (8/20/2011 12:47:00 PM)


    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul

    ^ ^ <3
    (Report) Reply

  • (8/14/2011 1:08:00 PM)


    Having just lost a wife I nursed for three years and who considered this one of her favorite poems, it is clear Mr Henley truly understood the abyss and the courage needed to navigate it. (Report) Reply

  • (8/7/2011 6:52:00 PM)


    I do believe, as of the great demi-god Mandela, this is my favorite poem, of time (Report) Reply

  • (3/19/2011 2:16:00 PM)


    was thinking of using this as lyrics to my bands new song. anyone know any details of copyright? ? (Report) Reply

  • (3/1/2011 4:10:00 PM)


    I don't know if everyone reading this has read the christian intrepration of this poem, but to me atleast, it doesn't even caught the tone and message of this truly amazing poem. I feel almost as if their polar opposites, and while i don't know about the history of William Ernest, I personally believe this poem wasn't even written with a christian intent, as much as he was just using the imagery these very common and well known concepts envoke. (Report) Reply

  • (2/8/2011 12:29:00 PM)


    Hello Poemhunter,

    I recently exchanged comments with Keith Leach about themes in the poem Invictus by William Henley concerning hubris versus humility as responses to the perceived lack of control over one's fate in life, especially concerning illness (like Henley in the poem) . What better way to discuss these themes than relate them to our own experiences? Illness and infirmity are sensitive subjects, but I thought we dealt with them sensitively, yet honestly. I wonder why they were removed? Were they too sensitive for Poemhunter? Is it cultural incorrectness? It seems like an arbitrary decision to remove them, especially when reading all the other comments. So, I'm perplexed. I think it's hard to argue that the comments did not deal with touchy subjects that are logically and emotionally very related to the poem.

    I would really like to understand your general policy and specific reason for removing the comments.

    Respectfully,
    Stuart

    I would really appreciate feedback from other users of the site who read my comments before they were removed. Please send me a private message via Poemhunter's system. Was I out of line? Thank you.
    (Report) Reply

  • (2/1/2011 6:17:00 PM)


    Thank you Keith for the response. Yes, I questioned myself after writing what I wrote, my first post on the site too. There is no doubt in my mind that your ordeal has left you in a position to understand the poem far better than I, and humbled you greatly. Besides the 'being in control of one's life' issue, the humility/hubris dichotomy is another theme that I have thought a lot about in a very personal way. You see, I am basically a reforming narcissist (not with a capital 'N' as in a full-blown personality disorder but yes as a way to sub-consciously protect myself from feeling 'out of control') . So I am very sensitive when I think I perceive it in others. Although I can't validly complain about my life when compared to the tribulations you've had to endure, I indeed was dealt a raw childhood and subsequently have made a lot of bad decisions in 28 years of adult life that have left me, well, somewhat lonely, depressed, and angry at myself... and very humbled in my own way.

    I know it appears callous for me to suggest that a sick person as yourself may be hubristic, sorry. But I've actually seen it in quite sick people that I know well. I think that extreme hardship makes one deeper, insightful, more capable of seeing many points of view. However I find life essentially paradoxical, and hardship can at the same time create feelings of 'I've been to hell and back... now I truly see things as they truly are without blinders, undistorted by any lens.' I don't think so.

    So that's what I was (over) reacting to. Thank you for explaining where you were coming from. I've tried to do the same. As far as Michael B's comment, it dramatically shows how offended he was in a manner that would be hard to match any other way. And with the internet, conventions of civility and decorum are out the window. Parents have a big responsibility these days. Also, it's a poetry website. Poetry has never pulled any punches and is not always necessarily for kids. I sincerely wish you the very best.
    (Report) Reply



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