Walt Whitman

(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892 / New York / United States)

O Captain! My Captain! - Poem by Walt Whitman


O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.


O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung--for you the bugle trills; 10
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths--for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.


My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won; 20
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Form: Elegy


Comments about O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

  • Rookie - 120 Points Randy Hogan (7/23/2015 2:41:00 PM)

    That reading is so incredible! :) (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 5,980 Points Abdulrazak Aralimatti (7/21/2015 8:17:00 AM)

    I salute the captain of the world, Abraham Lincoln, who eradicated slavery from the world and I also salute Walt Whitman for writing this great elegy. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 179 Points Frankie Wills (7/9/2015 9:15:00 AM)

    I love this poem, one of my all time favourites: first read it in a poetry anthology.So brilliantly written. Makes me cry everytime. Great to read aloud. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 50 Points Vasudevan Desikachari (7/9/2015 5:08:00 AM)

    A truly remarkable poem on the return of a triumphant ship after an adventurous journey-returned with its intended bounty, sadly however, without its master, the captain, who seems to have laid his life a sacrifice! for the safe return of its ship whose arrival at the shore is anticipated by men of all ranks.Only a Whitman could write a poem like this.I salute him for his remarkable ability. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,513 Points Kinyua Karanja (7/9/2015 5:06:00 AM)

    It's terrible as i can see the captain who is no more is the father of the persona. Very sad. A good Elegy. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,053 Points Thabani Khumalo (6/16/2015 8:47:00 AM)

    I have a vision to write like this, only if god would bless me enough to., (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 277 Points Gauri Sharma (6/13/2015 6:06:00 AM)

    an emotionally expressed poem with all the words that go just perfect...absolutely amazing (Report) Reply

  • Rookie kylla gelaga (5/31/2015 10:03:00 AM)

    This poem is full of feels (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 5 Points Nick Cho (5/22/2015 11:59:00 PM)

    This poem means that Walt finished his adventure of life but along the way, he lost his father. The only adventure taken was life. (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,237 Points Akachukwu Lekwauwa (5/15/2015 12:21:00 AM)

    I love this Elegy, hear-wrenching (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 8 Points Daniel Leasure (4/6/2015 12:21:00 PM)

    This was the first poem by Walt Whitman that I read. I loved it and it only gets better every time I read it. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,789 Points Roy Allen (3/12/2015 1:19:00 AM)

    Powerful poetry capturing a sad and dramatic loss (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,428 Points Sagnik Chakraborty (9/25/2014 1:57:00 PM)

    Since my childhood, I've always admired President 'Honest Abe' Abraham Lincoln hugely, and together with him, this poem. This was the first poem of Whitman that I read, and even after I read his other poems from 'Leaves of Grass' and started liking him even more, this one remains one of my most beloved Whitman poems. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 36,538 Points Chinedu Dike (8/12/2014 3:07:00 PM)

    I read this poem and Ozymandias every now and then. What a masterpiece! (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 4,238 Points Primrose Tee (7/2/2014 1:37:00 PM)

    Great poem indeed , l like (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,054 Points Michelle Claus (7/2/2014 10:57:00 AM)

    My first introduction to this poem was in the film Dead Poets Society - particularly the lines O Captain! My Captain! Since then, I've loved this reverent phrase, and now,20-plus years after the film, I admire the poem even more than I did when I was younger. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 31,859 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (7/2/2014 3:06:00 AM)

    The end of captain is very sad and poet describes it beautifully and makes a nice poem and interested. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 16,965 Points * Sunprincess * (5/13/2014 10:21:00 AM)

    ...........oh this is very sad, the captain dies just when he reaches port....sometimes for some this happens...just when you reach your dreams life ends....very impressive write... (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 7,178 Points Herbert Guitang (4/25/2014 8:01:00 AM)

    Fantastic and brilliant poem. Perfect 10 (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 88 Points Thomas Vaughan Jones (1/19/2014 4:16:00 PM)

    One of my favourites when I was a boy. Why oh why did a man who could write like that turn to Free Verse. :) (Report) Reply

    Gold Star - 9,424 Points Khairul Ahsan (5/30/2014 7:28:00 AM)

    I too wonder like you.

Read all 66 comments »




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Read poems about / on: father, weather, red, dream, people, heart, rose



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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