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
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

Invictus is latin for unconquerable, invinsible, undefeated.

The poem’s meaning is all powerful of there being freedom of choice in all circumstances even difficult ones because ultimately you make own your own destiny, and no matter how much choice has been taken away from you, you still get to choose your own soul and your own values and your fate.

8 thoughts on “Invictus

  1. Pingback: Week 5 – Captain of my soul | Almost Spring

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  4. One of my dear friends kept this on her refrigerator for years (which was my first introduction to it). Eventually, right beside it was a poem my then 11-year-old son wrote at a parent-child interactive poetry workshop at the Loft in Minneapolis (the poet/facilitator directed, the children spoke their heart about whatever subject/object they wished and we parents transcribed)… I was in total awe about what came out of his mouth, the muse had him, for sure. He called it

    “Make Believe”

    Make believe you’re a maple leaf.
    Make believe you’re changing colors–green, yellow, sassy orange.
    Make believe you’re falling.
    Just believe you’re beautiful.

    (He’s 30 now, father of 2 daughters, and he is seeing to it they believe they’re beautiful!)

    • This is SO beautiful. The changing colours, and having belief in oneself. How could an eleven year old come up with this? I am sure that he has grown into a fine young man.
      Thank you for sharing this with me today.

  5. Pingback: My life in transition #2 – from resentment to conviction | Almost Spring

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