Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman Walter "Walt" Withman was a poet and journalist who was born in long island on May 31, 1819. Walt Withman is also known as the father of free verse due to his controversial works that were widely criticized at that time. Walter Withman belonged to a low income family, he was the second of nine children, his father was a British citizen called Walter Withman and his mother was a Dutch housewife called Louisa Van Velsor.

During his life he worked as a journalist in New York, in 1836, at the age of 17, he began his career as teacher in the one-room school houses of Long Island. Withman funded the weekly newspaper called "Long- Islander" and in 1855 he published the first of many editions of "Leaves of Grass", which is considered his most famous work. During the war he assisted spiritually wounded soldiers in Washington and he continued working for the state until 1873 when he suffered a severe attack. Withman died on March 1892 due to bronchitis.

Walt Withman wrote this beautiful poem in 1865 for the death of Abraham Lincoln. This was first published in New York, where it became in an instant success. As most of his poems, O Captain! My Captain!, is characterized by the use of rhymed, rhythmically regular verse, which serves to create a somber yet exalted effect.

Over time, this poem was used in many movies and TV series, for example Death poets Society, the Truth machine, Full House, and in Dharma & Greg. In 1996 the famous poet Naomi Shemer translated this poem to Hebrew and composed music for it.

Walt Whitman - O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! My Captain!


O Captain my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered 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 ribboned 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 anchored 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.

Walt Whitman



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