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Charlé LaMonica | June 15, 2020

In today’s tumultuous world poetry has a valuable place, a place for recording sentiments and feelings, events and reactions. For centuries, leaders throughout the world have turned to poetry for solace and for a call to action. Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader who was jailed 27 years for his activism and in 1994 became President of South Africa, regularly recited the poem Invictus during his imprisonment. Invictus, meaning unconquerable or undefeated in Latin, was written in 1875 by William Ernest Henley.

Invictus by English poet 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.


As we maneuver through these challenging times, let us keep in mind the power of this poem…
to confront adversity and to come out the other side of it with the creation of positive change.