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O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN! by Walt Whitman

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O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN! by Walt Whitman - FULL AudioBook (Poem) | - "O Captain! My Captain!" is a poem written by Walt Whitman in 1865. The poem is classified as an elegy or mourning poem, and was written to honor Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. 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 who 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 urging people to fight for what is right.

The main political and social issues during Whitman's time were 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, sharing his commitment to the Union and his opposition to slavery. The captain in the poem refers to Abraham Lincoln who is the captain of the ship, representing the United States of America. (Summary adapted from - attribution:!_My_Captain!&action=history)


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Chapter listing and length:

"O Captain! My Captain!" 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;
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;

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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