EvanYoung-WilliamErnestHenley

Report
WILLIAM ERNEST
HENLEY
Biography
List of Works
Sample Poems
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography
Presentation by Evan Young
AN UNCONQUERABLE MAN
BIOGRAPHY
“I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul (Invictus by William Ernest Henley)”
These are the last two (and possibly most famous) lines from the poem
Invictus by William Earnest Henley. He was born August 23, 1849, in Gloucester,
England, where he was raised and attended the Crypt Grammar School. It was here that he
met poet T.E. Brown, who was headmaster at the school for a period of time. Brown
fueled Henley’s already prominent love of literature by lending him books. Henley once
said of his old headmaster, “He was singularly kind to me at a moment when I needed
kindness even more than I needed encouragement (The biography of William Ernest
Henley 1).” It was this first encounter with genius that initially led Henley to a life of
poetry. Unfortunately, at the age of twelve, Henley was diagnosed with tubercular arthritis
which necessitated the amputation of one of his legs right below the knee. As he healed in
a hospital in Edinburgh, he began writing poetry, most of his poems with irregular
rhythms dealing with his experiences in the hospital, including his most famous and
influential poem, Invictus (Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Project).
Biography
List of Works
Sample Poems
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography
AN UNCONQUERABLE MAN
B I O G R A P H Y ( C O N T D. )
This started Henley on a fantastic journey throughout life as a literary giant.
He sent many of his poems to Cornhill Magazine, a poetry magazine based in London.
Leslie Stephen, the editor at the time, would visit Henley in the hospital along with
another contributor, Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island (The biography .
. . Henley 1). This chance meeting sparked an immediate friendship between the two
literary geniuses. Stevenson even based the character Long John Silver in Treasure Island
on Henley (Poetry. . . Project). In 1877, Henley left the hospital and set out to London
and began his career as an editor by editing the journal London, which was written more
for the contributors rather than the readers. Henley himself provided the journal with a
series of verses primarily written in old French forms. Though he had been writing poetry
for years, as he told in an “advertisement” for his collected Poems, in 1877, he found
himself “so utterly unmarketable that he had to own himself beaten in art and to addict
himself in journalism for the next ten years (The biography . . . Henley 1).” When
London fell through, he moved on to editing the Magazine of Art from 1882 to 1886.
Biography
List of Works
Sample Poems
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography
AN UNCONQUERABLE MAN
B I O G R A P H Y ( C O N T D. )
After he finished this job, he finally became a poet in the public eye. In 1887, a man
named Gleeson White compiled a selection of poems in old French forms for the
popular series Canterbury Poets. In the selection, White included many pieces from
London and only after completion realized that they were all by Henley. The following
year, in his volume “Voluntaries,” H. B. Donkin included many of Henley’s unrhymed
rhythms primarily dealing with his experience in the Edinburgh infirmary. After reading
these, Alfred Nutt wanted more, and in 1888, his firm published A Book of Verse. This
volume determined his fame as a poet, bringing out of restricted literary circle. Soon, his
fame outgrew these confines and two new editions of the volume were published in the
next three years. Henley became literary editor of the Scots Observer and was eventually
left with the conduct of the entire paper. It was a weekly review, every paragraph filled
with the fierce and passionate personality of its editor. The paper was eventually
transferred to London under the name the “National Observer. It remained under the
editorship of Henley until 1893, and although there were few readers or writers and it was
mostly confined to the literary class, it was the literary life of its time (The biography . . .
Henley 1).
Sample Poems
Biography
List of Works
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography
AN UNCONQUERABLE MAN
B I O G R A P H Y ( C O N T D. )
William Ernest Henley’s writing style varies between many of his poems, but some things often
remain the same. Much of his poetry is in a free verse setting, while some others are blank verse. All of his works
are extremely descriptive and use plenty of imagery, sometimes of landscapes or forms. He will often personify
thoughts and metaphysical ideas such as in the poem Invictus where he describes “Chance” physically beating
Henley (Invictus by William Ernest Henley). Henley often uses oxymoron in his poetry as shown in the poem
“Ave, Caesar!” where he describes Death as the “Lover of life” (Henley). Henley’s rhyme form changes frequently.
Some poems use internal rhyme schemes, others may use end rhymes in couplets, and still some are free rhyme.
His mood varies in his writing as well. Sometimes it is mournful or playful. Most of the time, though, it is
incredibly triumphant.
Biography
List of Works
Sample Poems
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography
LIST OF WORKS












“A Dainty Thing’s the Villanelle”
“Apparition”
“Ave, Caesar!”
“Barmaid”
“Before”
“Discharged”
“England, My England”
“I Am the Reaper”
“If I Were A King”
“Interlude”
“Invictus”
“Let Us Be Drunk”













“Not To The Staring Day”
“O, Gather Me the Rose”
“Space and Dread and the Dark”
“The Gods Are Dead”
“The Rain and the Wind”
“The Spirit of Wine”
“The Ways Are Green”
“Time and the Earth”
“Visitor”
“Waiting”
“We Shall Surely Die”
“What Is To Come”
“When You Are Old”
Biography
List of Works
Sample Poems
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography
INVICTUS
BY WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
I thank whatever gods may be
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
For my unconquerable soul.
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
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.
Biography
List of Works
Sample Poems
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography
ANALYSIS
William Ernest Henley’s most famous and influential poem, “Invictus,” uses
effective imagery successfully to create a very strong and invigorating mood. This poem is
about the perseverance and resilience of man. Henley describes how, even though he has
been beat, he has not yet been defeated. “Invictus” is riddled with imagery leading the
reader to feel like they can actually see this poem being acted out like a play is performed
from a script. A fantastic example of imagery in this poem is “Under the bludgeonings of
chance/ My head is bloody, but unbowed.” This evokes the sight of a man on his knees,
chained and tied up, his head bruised and covered in bloodied but he still holds it high,
looking defiantly into the eyes of his captor, Chance, which has been personified into a
human being. The first stanza of the poem uses plenty of imagery as well. “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.” This again shows strength and, as the line says,
unconquerability. It also invokes images of pure darkness covering the man but not
affecting him, him keeping resilient to its power. The reader can almost imagine him as a
light in said darkness.
Biography
List of Works
Sample Poems
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography
ANALYSIS (CONTD.)
Imagery is used again in the last couplet of the poem. “I am the
master of my fate, / I am the captain of my soul.” This creates the
scene of the man’s soul objectified into a lone ship in dark and stormy
waters with the man at the helm, leading it gracefully through the
rough tides. Henley uses imagery to create a performance in your
mind, leading you to feel the true meaning of the Latin word,
Invictus: Unconquerable.
Biography
List of Works
Sample Poems
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography
SAMPLE POEM:
AV E , C A E S A R !
BY WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY
“Ave, Caesar!” is a poem about Death. I chose this poem for its imagery and
oxymoron. I really like the oxymoron used in the line “Death, the lover of life.”
From the winter's grey despair,
From the summer's golden languor,
Death, the lover of Life,
Frees us for ever.
Inevitable, silent, unseen,
Everywhere always,
Shadow by night and as light in the day,
Signs she at last to her chosen;
And, as she waves them forth,
Sorrow and Joy
Lay by their looks and their voices,
Set down their hopes, and are made
One in the dim Forever.
Into the winter's grey delight,
Into the summer's golden dream,
Holy and high and impartial,
Death, the mother of Life,
Mingles all men for ever
Biography
List of Works
Sample Poems
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography
SAMPLE POEM
I AM THE REAPER
BY WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY
I think “I Am the Reaper” is a poem about life and death. I chose it for its
vivid imagery, such as in the line “Pale roses touched with the spring.” I also really like the
metaphors used in the poem.
I am the Reaper.
All things with heedful hook
Silent I gather.
Pale roses touched with the spring,
Tall corn in summer,
Fruits rich with autumn, and frail winter blossoms—
Reaping, still reaping—
All things with heedful hook
Timely I gather.
I am the Sower.
All the unbodied life
Runs through my seed-sheet.
Atom with atom wed,
Each quickening the other,
Fall through my hands, ever changing, still
changeless.
Ceaselessly sowing,
Life, incorruptible life,
Flows from my seed-sheet.
Biography
List of Works
Sample Poems
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography
I AM THE REAPER
BY
WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY
( C O N T D. )
Maker and breaker,
I am the ebb and the flood,
Here and Hereafter,
Sped through the tangle and coil
Of infinite nature,
Viewless and soundless I fashion all being.
Taker and giver,
I am the womb and the grave,
The Now and the Ever
Biography
List of Works
Sample Poems
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography
INSPIRED POEM
Before by William Ernest Henley
Behold me waiting-waiting for the knife.
Unmans me for my bout of passive strife.
Yet am I tremulous and a trifle sick,
A little while, and at a leap I storm
And, face to face with chance, I shrink a little:
The thick, sweet mystery of chloroform,
My hopes are strong, my will is something weak.
The drunken dark, the little death-in-life.
Here comes the basket? Thank you. I am ready.
The gods are good to me: I have no wife,
But, gentlemen my porters, life is brittle:
No innocent child, to think of as I near
You carry Caesar and his fortunes-steady!
The fateful minute; nothing all-too dear
Biography
List of Works
Sample Poems
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography
INSPIRED POEM
After by Evan John Young
I am now awake.
I am now alive.
After Death, after the knife,
I am truly alive.
The grass grows lush here
The sky shines clear.
I do not miss that death called Life.
There is nothing for me there.
All I need is here
In this Death full of life
In this open field
More Beautiful than any other
Biography
List of Works
Sample Poems
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography
INSPIRED POEM
A Dainty Thing’s the Villanelle
By William Ernest Henley
A DAINTY thing's the Villanelle,
Sly, musical, a jewel in rhyme,
It serves its purpose passing well.
A double-clappered silver bell
That must be made to clink in chime,
A dainty thing's the Villanelle;
And if you wish to flute a spell,
Or ask a meeting 'neath the lime,
It serves its purpose passing well.
You must not ask of it the swell
Of organs grandiose and sublime-A dainty thing's the Villanelle;
And, filled with sweetness, as a shell
Is filled with sound, and launched in time,
It serves its purpose passing well.
Still fair to see and good to smell
As in the quaintness of its prime,
A dainty thing's the Villanelle,
It serves its purpose passing well.
Biography
List of Works
Sample Poems
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography
INSPIRED POEM
A Mighty Thing’s the Pantoum
by Evan John Young
A mighty thing’s the Pantoum.
Graceful, powerful, Infinite
It has much hold over
The artist’s heart.
Graceful, powerful, Infinite
Forever or never,
The artist’s heart
Houses the mighty Pantoum.
Forever or never,
The gaze of a child
Houses the mighty Pantoum
Until it becomes burdened.
The gaze of a child
Carries the strength of war
Until it becomes burdened
With battle itself.
Carrying the strength of war,
The almighty Pantoum,
With battle itself,
Has much hold over the artist’s heart.
Biography
List of Works
Sample Poems
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography
ORIGINAL POEM
POWER
B Y E VA N J O H N Y O U N G
I am
I Am
The powerful king,
The empowered savior
Who rules the land
Standing over
With infinite power.
The humbled king.
I Am
I am
The humblest servant,
The humbled king,
Who does the dirtiest deeds
With a snake on my mind
Of the powerful king.
And a knife in my back.
Biography
List of Works
Sample Poems
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography
ORIGINAL POEM
MAN
It was Man, not Hero,
B Y E VA N J O H N Y O U N G
Man, which has
That slayed the beast.
Ruined this world,
It was Man, not king,
Demolished it, polluted it,
That won the war.
Man, which has
It was Man,
Vandalized this world,
Impure and flawed,
Is its Greatest savior
Biography
List of Works
Sample Poems
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Sources:
Poem Hunter
http://poemhunter.com/william-ernest-henley/biography/
Poetry Out Loud
http://poetryoutloud.org/poems/poet.html?id=81369
Pictures:
http://www.ur.umich.edu/0607/Oct23_06/26.shtml
http://www.venividivici.ch/julius_caesar.htm
http://www.venividivici.ch/julius_caesar.htm
http://iskin.co.uk/wallpaper/landscapes/green-fields
http://claimtheharvest.com/
http://noemisiren.buzznet.com/user/
http://drewsoddsandsods.blogspot.com/2010_04_01_archive.html
http://www.freechristmaswallpapers.net/wallpaper/Silver-Bell/
Biography
List of Works
Sample Poems
Inspired Poetry
Original Poetry
Bibliography

similar documents