29th September 2017

Reading Log #1



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.

Invictus, meaning unconquerable and undefeated in Latin, is the title of this poem. This is the whole focus of the poem; this was the reality for Henley. From a very young age, William was treated for tuberculosis of the bone. His foot was amputated shortly after the poem was written “This poem is about courage in the face of death, and holding on to one’s own dignity despite the indignities life places before us” (quote from invictusexplained.wordpress.com)

The idea of this poem is that death is far but getting closer and closer. The person in this poem thank the gods for the soul he has got and thanks them for their strength to keep going. In all the circumstances there is he has got the worse one but he hasn’t cried. The bad luck he is in, he hasn’t bowed down or given up to the horrible occurrences. If he does give up death will be waiting for him for years to come but he isn’t afraid of death because he is already on the verge of it. I don’t matter how simple it is to give up and take the easy way out or what punishment will be waiting for you if you do, you are the change of your future and the control what you do, no-one else does.

The plot of this poem Invictus is about someone who had gone through something so severe but endured all the circumstance good and bad, even though giving up was an option put in front of him. The imagery of emotion/mood has been presented to us in this poem also through the use of words and language techniques.

Language techniques in this poem set the scene for us readers right at the start.”Out of the night that covers me, (also personification)  The simile black as the pit from pole to pole.” This poem continues to be dark. This also a metaphor is describing that death is black and you can’t escape it because it is everywhere, like where is says from pole to pole and that you a trapped and engulfed in it. The tone doesn’t change throughout the poem it continues to show us darkness and the suffering of someone. Another language feature in this poem is the repetition of the consonance c/k. This is in the words: covers, black, conquerable and thank. The effect of this is that it adds emphasis to the words alone and to the whole poem  We see that the ‘h’ in horror has been capitalized. The could be because they are saying that horror is a name and that it is a noun that deserves a capital letter.

What this poem teaches us about the world today is that we control our lives, no one else does and no one else can live it for you, so take all the chances you get and opportunities. That you are the change to your future and only you can change the outcomes of your future now, not later. You have to endure everything that is upon you, you have to feel the pain that has been inflicted on you and you have to preserve right through it.  With live it gives you 2 options, to give up or to keep trying! And you have to decide which option. Finally, this poem teaches us about the strength of humans.

I have not been in a situation that was so bad that I wanted to give up and hope for the best that I don’t die. But on the other hand, my viewpoints and connections are very strong on this. This poem gives me insight into what it is like to suffer but remains staunch in your stance. You could say that this poem is similar in life like when you have option/chances to trying until you get the perfect outcome or just live with the one you have got. I can sympathize with the character in the poem.

I think is that this person has suffered something so severe in his life, but he had overcome it and now he believes he can conquer anything in his path, that provides a barrier him from a good life

I would recommend this text because this shows us the strength of humans and what we have to endure even if we think of giving up. We need to try to remain content while we suffer because we know it could be worse. This style of writing implies determination, endurance, and perseverance which is a basis we have to deal with.


Respond now!

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