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Invictus – My Favourite Poem

Before playing on the Calgary men’s ultimate frisbee team, Invictus, I had never heard of this poem. But when I first read it, the last 2 lines stood out in my mind and to this day, remain my personal mantra:

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

The poem gained lots of popularity with the 2009 movie Invictus starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. It’s a great movie, the title fits it and the poem works wonderfully with the plot.

The poem in its entirety is below. What is your favourite poem?


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.

William Ernest Henley

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