Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Anthology 43: Invictus

Much as I've enjoyed getting back to regular blogging, I realise that recent posts have been mostly political and I've not been leavening things with other styles of post. I know, also, that some of my readers really appreciate the poetry or music posts - and although they are few in number, architecture related posts are also popular.

So, if you're been waiting on a Poem, or Music, or other such entertainment, thank you for your patience: this one is for you.

Invictus 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
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.

To my shame, I've only recently become acquainted with this recently following me finally seeing the film of the same name. In that, Nelson Mandela - who was inspired by the poem during his time on Robben Island - in turn uses it to inspire Francois Pineaar to lead South Africa to Rugby World Cup Glory... Sadly, it appears that this latter part is poetic licence and a speech by Theodore Roosevelt was Mandela's chosen text instead.


1 comment:

Raybeard said...

Although many years ago I'd made a note of the origin of the very famous last two lines of this poem, as for you, it was only recently that I got to appreciate the poem in its brief entirity. And it really is a beauty - profound and simple.