I have been slowly working my way through Leaves of Grass, reading some poems between other books, or when I feel inspired. This morning I read “O Captain! My Captain!” which I was first exposed to in the film “Dead Poets Society.”
In the poem, Whitman expresses his feelings of loss over the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln is the Captain, who navigated the ship (America) across the turbulent sea (the Civil War). The poem is more structured than most of Whitman’s poems, and the rhyming scheme and rhythm makes it feel like a funeral dirge.
This is a short and very accessible poem, even though it is instilled with strong emotion. If you have not read it, then you should. It’s a must-read.
Click here to read the poem online.