William Ernest Henley

Rating: 5
Rating: 5

William Ernest Henley Biography

William Ernest Henley (August 23, 1849 - July 11, 1903) was a British poet, critic and editor.

Henley was born in Gloucester and educated at the Crypt Grammar School. The school was a poor relation of the Cathedral School, and Henley indicated its shortcomings in his article (Pall Mall Magazine, Nov. 1900) on T. E. Brown the poet, who was headmaster there for a brief period. Brown's appointment was a stroke of luck for Henley, for whom it represented a first acquaintance with a man of genius. "He was singularly kind to me at a moment when I needed kindness even more than I needed encouragement." Brown did him the essential service of lending him books. Henley was no classical scholar, but his knowledge and love of literature were vital.

After suffering tuberculosis as a boy, he foun ...

William Ernest Henley Comments

Suresh Bala 05 July 2010

Invictus: Can someone elaborate the line about the 'Horror of the shade'? Is this a biblical reference?

52 56 Reply
Serene Waters 03 January 2010

I just saw the phenomenal movie Invictus five hours ago. This movie, about Nelson Mandela and his ressurrection from being a prisoner to being the president of South Africa, show that iron bars can not stop some men. He rehearsed the words of hope from his prison cell in the Poem Invictus, and the power of spirit over matter was manifested. As president, he also quelled the post-apartheid tension, transforming enemies into friends. It is a story about someone with a vision of an ideal world who was able to embrace his nation, both black and white, as his family. His heart will not be forgotten, because without people like him a better world will never come. You will feel so uplifted by this movie! ! !

72 19 Reply
Manuel Rosenbaum 22 May 2014

In 2004, at age 75, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. one of the things that helped me was remembering Invictus which I had memorized as a teenager. It gave me the inner strength and courage to fight back and survive!

52 14 Reply
Charles Darnell 03 July 2013

In answer to Suresh, I believe Henley was referring to death with no afterlife. If you place his life within a historical context, the theory of Evolution had emerged as a dominate force in science. Many people despaired that the theory killed the idea of God. They came to think that there was no God, heaven, or indeed any kind of life after death. I think Henley embraced this and hence the line. This idea is further re-enforced by his final line I am the captain of my soul...in other words, I am responsible for my life, my actions, my spirit and answerable to myself (not to God) . This is one of my all time favorite poems.

39 24 Reply
Sharon Coakley 19 March 2013

to me this poet had a will to fight. he did not let his struggles no matter how hard it seemed conquered him. He seem very much in touch with pain and hardship and some how his spirit is unbreakable.

41 12 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 25 June 2021

So glad to know that the English poet William Ernest Henley is The Poet Of TODAY. Congratulations for this choice!

0 0 Reply
ggggg 07 January 2020

i like chicken it is so succulent mandem you don't understand mmm so bumboclatin ting chicken chicken mmmm i so involve with da chicken

2 5 Reply
Mckenzie Book 01 April 2019

I’m here looking at William Ernest Henley because I was reading a fan fiction and the main character was a big fan of him.

7 5 Reply
Jewls 09 January 2019

Jnana Eshwar, dont worry about not knowing, because its better know exactly what you dont know in order to get to know that unknown, than to think that you known and deeply mistaken

5 4 Reply
Jnana Eshwar 18 October 2018

William Ernest Henley is really an excellent author. I really don't know much about him as i am only 9 and a half years old.

9 8 Reply

The Best Poem Of William Ernest Henley

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 Popularity

William Ernest Henley Popularity

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