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Nelson Mandela’s Favorite Poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley

Invictus

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.

This is one of my favorites… a poem that is said to be Nelson Mandela’s favorite poem as he read it to stay inspired while imprisoned.

You can find out more about the poet and the poem by visiting The Poetry Foundation.

peace Kristin J

This entry was posted in: For Readers

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I am an activist, author, and teaching artist passionate about anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-imperialist education. I started Pens Up Press because I love to read and write and because I believe in the power of our people to liberate ourselves and each other through learning and grassroots activism. In conjunction with Pens Up Press, I manage the Uproar Poetry Group facilitating free creative writing workshops and supporting free open mic events. I live in Harlem with my dear friend Marcus Potts, my fiancee Xi'an Glynn, and my black cat Squeaky.

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