“Invictus” Latin for “unbeaten” is the name of a poem, written by British poet William Henley, in 1875 whilst in recovering hospital after having his foot amputated because of the tuberculosis he had suffered.
The poem figures in the 2009 film Invictus , directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman, as Nelson Mandela.
During his incarceration, Mandela had used the poem to motivate himself and fellow prisoners and in the film, he gifts a handwritten copy to François Pienaar, the “Springboks” captain – The Springboks go on to win the Rugby World Cup, in 1995.
The poem was also used in the film Casablanca, in 1942 and in Kings Row, in 1945.
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.
Whatever words you use to provide drive to your life, just get that you are here, now and that here and now, you are unbeaten