Walt Whitman

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

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O Captain! My Captain!

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;
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  • Keerthana N Pai (7/7/2012 5:37:00 AM)

    O Captain! My Captain! is a beautiful poem by Walt Whitman. The story of this Poem is telling about the dead of the captain. A wonderful Poem by Walt Whitman. (Report) Reply

  • Karen Sinclair (7/2/2012 5:42:00 PM)

    So full of atmosphere rhythm and pace, strongly dictated by this wonderfully talented writer.... I have never heard of this writer but am so glad i stumbled upon this wonderfully descriptive piece which i feel i have learnt something from...tyvm karen (Report) Reply

  • Terence George Craddock (7/2/2012 3:02:00 PM)

    ‘O Captain! My Captain! ’ by Walt Whitman is an absolutely brilliant poem, so much to like and appreciate. From the opening lines 'O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; / The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won; ' comes a sense of surprise that the ship has survived the perils of this terrible journey, intensified with the weather'd metaphor, that the ship has endured the hardships of every rack.
    The contrast of the safe port so near with bells heard and 'the people all exulting, ' to 'follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring: ' sets up the shock of 'Where on the deck my Captain lies, / Fallen cold and dead.' This imagery links Abraham Lincoln to the shock loss of countless thousands who were slain upon Civil War battlefields. The intensity of the loss, echoes all the parents, siblings suffering who lost loved ones. The heart torn moan 'But O heart! heart! heart! / O the bleeding drops of red, ' seems to speak for Lincoln, all soldiers and casualties of the Civil War, and the bleeding state of the union. The symbolism suggests the nation is still bleeding.
    The importance of the captain was immediately proclaimed with the first two words capitalized O CAPTAIN then the seeming sob of the personalized lower case ‘my Captain! ’, both outbursts heightened with exclamation marks, before the 'our fearful trip is done; ' highlighting the bond of companionship of shared dangers.
    This is still only the first stanza, yet the 'steady keel' of the captains leadership is solidly established, while 'the vessel grim and daring: ' suggests both the resolute course sailed and the personality of Lincoln. Walt Whitman is a favourite master for all who read the rich depths of his words. (Report) Reply

  • Juan Olivarez (7/2/2012 9:06:00 AM)

    I am glad (in regards to mr. brookes comment) that not all of us can be Whitmans. The world would be so boring if everyone wrote like Walt. Only one of his poems sticks in my mind, this one about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The rest of his work is quite forgettable. (Report) Reply

  • Paul Brookes (7/2/2012 3:09:00 AM)

    Seems to me there are too many people trying to show of there knowledge. This is a fine piece of writing by a master poet and one we should aspire to. However to put people's poetry down because its not up to this standard is ridiculous. I'm probably one of the writers that is being talked of in that way (notice I never said poet) We all have to learn and for me reading such poetry gives me such a buzz and teaches me what good poetry is, having said that we can't all be Whitmans. Sometimes just enjoy a poem without pontificating and just say Hey this is great and leave it at that! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Marc T. (1/26/2012 7:19:00 AM)

    Brings back memories of my grade school years at San Beda College. (Report) Reply

  • Selena Rocks (5/5/2011 12:26:00 AM)

    I love this poem! ! I memorize it because it has a lot of emotion! It is one of my favorites :) (Report) Reply

  • The 4am Poet Worm (7/2/2010 9:36:00 PM)

    my first whitman poem... i watched the notebook recently and his name was mentioned... can someone recomend theyre favourite poem of his pleeeease.... (Report) Reply

  • Juan Olivarez (7/2/2010 9:48:00 AM)

    This is one of only a handful of poems by Whitman that I actually like. This deals with the death of our 16th president Abraham Lincoln. Whitman actually wrote a few of these including ' When Lilacs Last In The Dooryard Bloom'd' and 'This Dust Was Once The Man'. O Captain My Captain has always been my favorite whitman work, maybe because he actually tried to rhyme it. (Report) Reply

  • Joey Valenzuela (7/2/2010 2:49:00 AM)


    what are these people sayin here...

    Andre Jose Surigao: this poem does have rhyme....and meter....you are talking about your errouneous things....

    Matthew Kang: you're talkin too much.....can't you just state there what is that fuckin similarities you're talkin 'bout? ..... (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (7/2/2010 2:13:00 AM)

    Wonderful poem about the successful journey of a ship with captain's efforts till death is very well depicted here! (Report) Reply

  • Andre Jose Surigao (3/20/2010 1:42:00 AM)

    From all of his poem, this was the best. Even without a rhyme or a meter its still turn out to be great. My favorite poem. (Report) Reply

  • Candace Johnson (3/14/2010 2:07:00 PM)

    I love this poem. I have loved since the first time I read it in the 8th grade. The emotion shown is amazing. I also like how it shows both sides of the issue. Joy from the victory and sadness from the death of the leader that led them to victory. (Report) Reply

  • Matthew Kang (2/19/2010 10:22:00 AM)

    Exemplary piece of literature. I like that I can relate this to President Lincoln. Do you see how the captain and Lincoln are similar? (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (7/2/2009 6:07:00 AM)

    How much more effect Whitman is when he is working within a form! May I ask your contributors to note the date of death of the poets presented in this space before they treat them as still alive! (Report) Reply

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