Read the powerful poem behind Prince Harry’s Invictus Games

gettyimages 531115098 Read the powerful poem behind Prince Harrys Invictus Games

Prince Harry speaks during the closing ceremonies in Orlando, Florida, May 12, 2016. (STEPHEN M. DOWELL/AFP/Getty Images)

TORONTO — The 2017 Invictus Games are in full swing and in the spirit of the games, Toronto is illuminated with the black and gold “I AM” emblem. The “I AM” logo is inspired by the final two lines of the poem “Invictus” written by English poet William Ernest Henley.

“‘I AM’ reflects and defines the games’ core purpose: to provide a platform for personal achievement, to compete, not just against each other, but against oneself and prove that ‘I AM the master of my fate, I AM the captain of my soul,'” according to a statement from the Invictus Games.

Prince Harry created the Invictus Games following his visit to the Department of Defense’s 2013 Warrior Games in Colorado. The adaptive sports competition in Toronto is the largest yet, with more than 500 wounded active duty service members and veterans representing 17 nations.

Fittingly, the word “Invictus” in Latin means “unconquered.”

 

Invictus
Willian 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.

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