He has a passion for poetry and enjoys analysing and providing interpretations for poetry from the past and present. Nelson Mandela has been depicted in films on multiple occasions. Henley's personal experience on the operating table and in a hospital bed, facing possible death, certainly helped him create one of the most popular poems in the English language. In this case, William Ernest Henley had tuberculosis of the bone when he was just 25 years old. The figure of speech found in this poem are metaphor, simile, personification, alliteration, imagery and symbolism. These last two lines are considered to be some of the most famous lines in all of literature, and they are a continued source of inspiration for people of all walks of life. The basic idea is that, no matter what life throws at you don't let it get you down. This poem depicts the poet’s attempt to motivate himself when there is no hope at all. Invictus (unbezwungen) Aus finstrer Nacht, die mich umragt, durch Dunkelheit mein‘ Geist ich quäl. Self-Determination. He was an English poet who lived within 1849 – 1903. In the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley the writer has given us a glimpse of the theme in the title itself. (Online Etymology Dictionary) “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley is a poem about not being afraid when the death is approaching, and holding on to one’s honor in spite of the discourtesy life places for us. Each quatrain deals with the speaker's personal reaction in the face of adversity. Jamie joined the Poem Analysis team back in November, 2010. Invictus ist ein kurzes viktorianisches Gedicht von William Ernest Henley (1849–1903). Invictus, meaning "unconquerable" or "undefeated" in Latin, is a poem by William Ernest Henley. Henley experienced pain and distress for many years - the poem is rooted in the awful circumstances he found himself in when a boy and a young man. He is the author of A Song of Speed (D. Nutt, 1903), Hawthorn & Lavender with Other Verses (D. Nutt, 1901), and For England’s Sake: Verses and Songs in Time of War (D. Nutt, 1900), among others.He died in Woking, England, on July 11, 1903. Challenges make one stronger but mentally submitting oneself to those impediments extinguishes the inner light that one carries inside the heart from infancy. The unwavering resilience it summons in the face of adversity has led to its enduring popularity and use in a variety of contexts. What is the speaker suggesting when the words It matters not how are placed in front of strait the gate? looking at ‘I am the master of my fate, / I am the captain of my soul’, Nelson Mandela: A Very Short Introduction by Elleke Boehmer, Tom Lodge, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul, A Love by the Sea by William Earnest Henley. However, the poem was published in 1888 in his first volume of poems, “Book of Verses”, without a title. In the year 1900 Arthur Quiller – Couch included in the Oxford Book of English verse with the title Invictus. He again tells his reader that he does not fear anything. I enjoyed the stanza by stanza analysis. In Invictus (2009), a biographical sports drama film based on John Carlin’s “Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation” (2008), he was depicted presenting a copy of the poem to Francois Pienaar, captain of the national South African rugby team for inspiration during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. This is one of the poems in which knowing the author’s background is of great help. Again, the reader is advised that there will be no capitulation, no giving in. Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. This famous inspirational poem charges us to accept responsibility for our lives no matter our circumstances. When he was incarcerated at the Robben Island prison, he recited this poem to other prisoners. The Background. " He was still only a young man at this time. The poem also has a set metrical pattern. However, despite the speaker’s almost absolute darkness ahead, he remains in good spirits, hopeful, and positive. 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 The future cannot be seen. We are the master of our destiny. Throughout all that he has been dealt, the speaker has not even cringed or cried about what has happened. It was written in 1875 and published in 1888 in his first volume of poems, Book of Verses, in the section Life and Death (Echoes). By William Ernest Henley About this Poet Born in Gloucester, England, poet, editor, and critic William Ernest Henley was educated at Crypt Grammar School, where he studied with the poet T.E. The login page will open in a new tab. Invictus by William Ernest Henley l Poetry Narration l - YouTube. Here is a list of a few poems that depict the themes present in Henley’s poem, ‘Invictus’. It is his self-belief and courage that will sail him through all the difficulties. He says, “Out of the night that covers me,/Black as the Pit from pole to pole.” Henley’s use of imagery is strong from the very first line of the poem. After logging in you can close it and return to this page. Hence the poem is written in iambic tetrameter. Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be. Moreover, it is important here to think about the connotations of the word “night.” Since it is dark and one cannot see, it is easy for horrible things to happen, particularly when the night is “black as the Pit.” It is also curious that Henley chose to capitalize “Pit,” using a simile to compare the darkness of the night to this hole. Please continue to help us support the fight against dementia. Ich dank, welch Gott es geben mag, dass unbezwungn ist meine Seel. The climax to the poem contains an allusion to the christian bible, New Testament Matthew (7:13/14) where Jesus says 'Strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it'. The night then becomes a symbol of hopelessness, a depressive medium in which the soul is lost. Moreover, in the last two lines of this stanza, Henley uses metaphor and epigram as well. Meaning of the Poem ‘Invictus’ by William Ernest Henley 'Invictus', a poem said to have inspired great men, is a highly motivational piece of poetry that will surely boost your morale. From the age of 12, Henley suffered from tuberculosis of the bone. Während eines 20-monatigen Sanatoriumsaufenthalts von 1873 bis 1875 in Edinburgh begann er Gedichte zu schreiben. Originally, the poem was published with no title. Many scholars believe Henley wrote this poem about himself since he wrote it while lying in a hospital bed. One can refer to the following poems similar to that of Henley for further reference. BY WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY . For example, the first stanza has a trochee as the opening foot in both first and second lines. By Dr Oliver Tearle ‘Invictus’ is a famous poem, even to those who haven’t heard of it. The title of the poem, Invictus, which is Latin for “unconquered,” was given by the editor of The Oxford Book of English Verse . In 1902, Henley fell from a railway carriage that caused his latent tuberculosis to flare up. It can be inferred, particularly when one knows the occupation of the man to whom the poem was dedicated, that our fearless speaker is perhaps a captain of a ship, particularly when he gives himself that title at the end of the poem. It is said that William Ernest Henley wrote the poem in 1875 for a Scottish flour merchant named Robert Thomas Hamilton Bruce. He died of it on 11 July 1903, at the age of 53. The message of self-mastery in this poem touched Mandela deeply. William Ernest Henley was born on 23 August 1849 in Gloucester. 1874 machte er die Bekanntschaft … Invictus is a poem which focuses on the human spirit and its ability to overcome adversity. He is the author of A Song of Speed (D. Nutt, 1903), Hawthorn & Lavender with Other Verses (D. Nutt, 1901), and For England’s Sake: Verses and Songs in Time of War (D. Nutt, 1900), among others.He died in Woking, England, on July 11, 1903. In some respect, the tone also projects a sense of insecurity, but the courage of the speaker dominates it. In the second stanza, the poet uses a metaphor in “fell clutch of circumstance.” There is another metaphor in the “bludgeonings of chance.” The third stanza contains a metonym for the earth in “this place of wrath and tears.” The last line of this stanza contains a repetition of the verb “find” and this poetic device is known as palilogy. Latin for "invincible", the poem "Invictus" is a deeply descriptive and motivational work filled with vivid imagery. Henley wrote Invictus whilst in hospital undergoing treatment for tuberculosis of the bones, specifically those in his left leg, which had to be amputated from the knee down. Each line of this poem contains eight syllables and the stress falls on the second syllable of each foot, a segment of two syllables. Knowing that this poem was written by Henley while he was in the hospital being treated for tuberculosis of the bone. This helps keep the whole poem together. Later the poem got reprinted in several 19th-century newspapers under various titles such as, “Myself,” “Master of His Fate,” “Captain of My Soul,” and “De Profundis.” The well-known title ‘Invictus’ was added to the poem by Arthur Quiller-Couch, the editor of the “Oxford Book of English Verse (1900).”. He does admit, however, in the next two lines that he has not emerged unscathed. Als Kind litt Henley unter Tuberkulose und musste einen Fuß amputieren lassen. The third stanza of ‘Invictus’ takes a darker turn, for the speaker refers to an afterlife that is filled with horror. The word “victus” has come from the past participle of “vincere” meaning “to conquer, overcome.” Collectively the word “Invictus” means one who cannot be conquered, meaning unconquerable. Invictus is a poem which focuses on the human spirit and its ability to overcome adversity. The head is still held high. It is a rallying cry for those who find themselves in dark and trying situations, who have to dig deep and fight for their lives. What's your thoughts? Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site. Lastly, Henley wrote this poem to express his disbelief in conventional notions regarding God or fate. It is a rallying cry for those who find themselves in dark and trying situations, who have to dig deep and fight for their lives. It is night time, the dark covers everything in black. Thereafter the poet throws light on the theme of fate vs free will. 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