INVICTUS - by William Ernest Hanley (read by Leo Susana )


Perhaps you know it from the Clint Eastwood film of the same name which tells the story of how Nelson Mandela used this poem to strenghten his resolve while he was a prisoner at Robben Island. The film fictiously has him give a text of the poem to the South African Rugby National Team captain Francois Pienaar when in fact he gave him a copy of text known as Man in the Arena from a Theodore Roosevelt speech titled Citizenship in a Republic. Check out this wikipedia entry for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invictus

INVICTUS
(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. 
Read more about this poem and its author at poetryfoundation.org



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