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

  • (9/26/2013 4:03:00 AM)

    wow..this is one of the best poems of all times. (Report) Reply

    60 person liked.
    13 person did not like.
  • (9/17/2013 8:54:00 PM)

    Yes, WEH just knew the life on earth. I appreciate and honor him because he understood what is 'soul'... (Report) Reply

  • (9/15/2013 2:15:00 PM)

    Bible Bashers, please read William Ernest Henley's bio and the hardships he went through before you condemn the man to hell. From the age of 12, Henley suffered from tuberculosis of the bone that resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee (in a time of limited/ineffective anaesthetic) , he had a further amputation of his other leg to save his life. He lost his daughter when she was five... he doesn't just talk of horrors, he has been through it. To have a fighting spirit like his is definitely a gift from God, and to those who are offended by the use of lowercase G, the originators of the word would call you blasphemers for even writing the full GOD, it was originally G-d because he is too great to be condensed into written form.

    This poem is a celebration of the God-given human spirit, if it offends you read something else.
    (Report) Reply

  • (9/10/2013 7:07:00 PM)

    This poem is beautiful. I watched the movie Invictus about Nelson Mandela which inspired me to learn more about it. (Report) Reply

  • (9/4/2013 6:20:00 PM)

    People, please. Nothing about this poem is anti-religious other than your own interpretation of the poem. A simple Google search shows this. (Report) Reply

  • (8/31/2013 3:29:00 PM)

    as Marvin replied I didn't know that a single mom can make $4482 in a few weeks on the internet. did you read this web page http: //www.mac22.com (Report) Reply

  • (8/21/2013 4:59:00 PM)

    I'm not a religious person. Nor do I attend church but I appreciate his passion and the real world thinking he had too. Some poems are just so surreal and out of this world but I enjoyed the relativity of it. Well written and such a smart man. (Report) Reply

  • (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

  • (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

  • (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

  • (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

  • (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

  • (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

  • (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

  • (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

  • (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

  • (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

  • (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

# 14 poem on top 500 Poems

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