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WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY Presentation by Evan Young Biography List of Works Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems.

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Presentation on theme: "WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY Presentation by Evan Young Biography List of Works Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems."— Presentation transcript:

1 WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY Presentation by Evan Young Biography List of Works Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems

2 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 Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems

3 AN UNCONQUERABLE MAN BIOGRAPHY (CONTD.) 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 Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems

4 AN UNCONQUERABLE MAN BIOGRAPHY (CONTD.) 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). Biography List of Works Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems

5 AN UNCONQUERABLE MAN BIOGRAPHY (CONTD.) 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 Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems

6 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 Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems

7 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. Biography List of Works Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems

8 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 Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems

9 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 Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems

10 SAMPLE POEM: AVE, CAESAR! 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 Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems

11 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 Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems

12 I AM THE REAPER BY WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY (CONTD.) 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 Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems

13 INSPIRED POEM Before by William Ernest Henley Behold me waiting-waiting for the knife. A little while, and at a leap I storm The thick, sweet mystery of chloroform, The drunken dark, the little death-in-life. The gods are good to me: I have no wife, No innocent child, to think of as I near The fateful minute; nothing all-too dear Unmans me for my bout of passive strife. Yet am I tremulous and a trifle sick, And, face to face with chance, I shrink a little: My hopes are strong, my will is something weak. Here comes the basket? Thank you. I am ready. But, gentlemen my porters, life is brittle: You carry Caesar and his fortunes-steady! Biography List of Works Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems

14 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 In this open field More Beautiful than any other 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 Biography List of Works Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems

15 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 Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems

16 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 Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems

17 ORIGINAL POEM POWER BY EVAN JOHN YOUNG I am The powerful king, Who rules the land With infinite power. I Am The humblest servant, Who does the dirtiest deeds Of the powerful king. I Am The empowered savior Standing over The humbled king. I am The humbled king, With a snake on my mind And a knife in my back. Biography List of Works Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems

18 ORIGINAL POEM MAN BY EVAN JOHN YOUNG It was Man, not Hero, That slayed the beast. It was Man, not king, That won the war. It was Man, Impure and flawed, Man, which has Ruined this world, Demolished it, polluted it, Man, which has Vandalized this world, Is its Greatest savior Biography List of Works Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems

19 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://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 Original Poetry Inspired Poetry Bibliography Sample Poems


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