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William Ernest Henley – On Survival

Have you ever felt like the world is crumbling down? Or that life is unfair?

Well, William Ernest Henley has written something to remind you that you have the choice to be whoever you want to be. But who is William Ernest Henley?

A brief explanation in Wikipedia tells us that William Ernest Henley was an influential poet, critic, and editor of the late-Victorian era in England who is spoken of as having as central a role in his time as Samuel Johnson had in the 18th century.

In the late 19th century, a period marked by its own unique challenges and triumphs, William Ernest Henley emerged as a voice that resonated with many. Born in Gloucester, England, in 1849, Henley faced his own share of adversities, including a severe bout of tuberculosis which left him with one leg amputated. Despite these trials, Henley’s spirit remained unbroken. His indomitable will and literary prowess would go on to shape the cultural landscape of his time. Beyond his personal struggles, Henley’s words served as a beacon of hope for countless individuals grappling with their own hardships. His works continue to inspire, reminding us all that even in the darkest of moments, the power to shape our destiny lies within us.

This was the most influential poem Henley wrote and this is entitled “Invictus”:

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 bludgeoning 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.

I kid you not, if you are having a hard time in your life or if you know anyone who is suffering from any problem or anxiety, this could give them a little boost to life. It may not be as good as any Shakesperean poem but this is one for the books. Write this on a card for a loved one or a friend who needs a little ray of sunshine and it will surely make them think about their perspective in any difficult situation.

This poem has inspired a lot of people to motivate themselves. From athletes to celebrities to people like you and me, many have been encouraged by William Ernest Henley. If you need some strong pill for your soul today or any other day, this one is for you.

William Ernest Henley’s Poem
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