193. 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;|
|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!||5|
|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,||15|
|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.|
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"O Captain! My Captain!" is an extended metaphor poem written in 1865 by Walt Whitman, about the death of American president Abraham Lincoln.
"O Captain! My Captain!" is a poem written by the American Poet Walt Whitman in 1865. The poem is classified as an elegy because it is a mourning poem that was written in the memory of someone. The poem is honoring The Unites States' 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. Walt Whitman was born in 1819 and died in 1892, so he lived through the American Civil War. Being born close to the founding of the country, he knew people that were a part of the American Revolution. Through this he experienced the unification and division of the United States. Walt Whitman was extremely patriotic and wrote many poems about the prominence of America. He also wrote poems about urging people to fight for what is right.
The main political and social issue during Whitman's time was slavery and the rights of African Americans. Whitman was self-described as the poet of America and, during the Civil War, the Union. Whitman wanted to see the end of slavery; this was his hope for America. However, it broke his heart to see the nation fighting. He admired Abraham Lincoln immensely because of his political standpoint of universal equality as stated in the constitution.
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"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits, and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman: 'O me, o life of the questions of these recurring, of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities filled with the foolish. What good amid these, o me, o life?' Answer: that you are here. That life exists, and identity. That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?" (Mr. Keating, played by Robin Williams on Dead Poets Society)