O Captain! My Captain!

I haven’t had a lot to blog about recently. I’ve been plodding along in all my classes waiting patiently for my introductory paralegal class to start this summer. Unfortunately, I was the only person signed up for the summer course, so the college cancelled it.  It’s a little frustrating and that means that I’ll be taking all generals this summer. Yea  (read sarcastically). Keep your fingers crossed that this paralegal course will be offered in the fall!

I do have one thing that I’d like to share with you. We’ve been discussing poetry in my Values of World Literature class.  Now, I’m not a huge fan of poetry, but I must admit that Walt Whitman’s O Captain! My Captain! caught my attention. This is the first poem that I truly enjoyed reading. If you haven’t read it in a while, or if you’ve never read it, I recommend it.

Walt Whitman

O Captain! My Captain! (1865)

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’s 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.

O Captain! My Captain! was written soon after the death of Abraham Lincoln and was one of Whitman’s most popular poems.

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