/I am the captain of my soul

I am the captain of my soul

Published Oct. 5 2017

Coming Events –  Friday Oct. 6 7:30 p.m. Karaoke with Fred and Linda Monday Thanksgiving Day closed.

Invictus means “unconquerable” or “undefeated” in Latin. Invictus is a poem that focuses on the human spirit and its ability to overcome adversity. 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.

The poet  (W.E.Henley) certainly knew hard times and needed all strength to battle against disease. He wrote Invictus while in hospital undergoing treatment for tuberculosis of the bones specifically those in his left leg which had to be amputated from the knee down. He managed to save his right leg by refusing surgery and seeking  an alternative form of treatment from a Scottish doctor James Lister. It was during his time in Edinburgh that Henley met the writer Robert Louis Stevenson. They became  friends and corresponded on a regular basis. Stevenson later admitted he had based his character Long John Silver from the book Treasure Island on Henley. 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.


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 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.

W.E. Hendry 1888