O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

Summary: O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman is about the captain of a ship that has been through the battles of war and has managed to get his ship back home, but he is dead.

Section One:

  • The narrator is exclaiming that the voyage is finished and the ship is safe coming into port
  • The people are waiting for the ship to dock, they are all happy
  • The captain is dead on the deck

Section Two:

  • The narrator calls for the captain to get up and hear the bells;
  • The narrator says that all the happiness and joy is for the captain
  • The narrator tries to say it is a dream that the captain is dead
  • The ship is probably pulling up to the dock now based off of the previous verse

Section Three:

  • The narrator says the captain is still dead, he will not feel anything
  • The narrator says the ship is safe now and the voyage is complete
  • The narrator must still mourn though because his captain is dead

Other Notes:

  • Whitman probably wrote this poem to Lincoln
  • Assuming this poem is for Lincoln we can see that everyone admires the captain and his ability to get the job finished; but now they must mourn his death
  • Our fearful trip - assuming the poem is about Lincoln probably refers to the civil war

© 2009 copyright www.notes4free.com O Captain! My Captain! | Walt Whitman