INVICTUS – the poem that inspired Madiba – Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

This is the poem that inspired Nelson Mandela when he was in jail. Apparently Madiba read this poem every day in his prison cell. Mandela had this poem on his bare wall in his cell.


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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