Presentation on theme: "O’ Captain, My Captain A Poem by Walt Whitman"— Presentation transcript:
1 O’ Captain, My Captain A Poem by Walt Whitman A Poetry Analysis by J. King
2 Walt Whitman Born May 31, 1819 Largely self-taught, an avid reader Teacher before becoming a journalist (Long Islander)1855 Leaves of Grass publishedInvolvement in the Civil WarNot popular, struggled to support himselfDied March 26, 1892
3 TranscendentalismA genre of literature during the late 1800’s in AmericaCentered around Concord, Massachusetts and the surrounding areaCentered on NatureTheme: Self-RelianceStyle of Whitman: un-rhymed, free verse sexuality, democratic sensibilityOther notable writers: Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson
4 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,The long journey is overPrize is won; end is near; people cheering the victoryVessel=ship or bodyImagery of blood; death of the captainJubilation of flag and bugleGood vs. bad of the situation
5 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.Masses are exalting and mourning for the captainSpeaker holds the head of the dead CaptainComing to the realization that the Captain is deadJuxtaposition of death and jubilant crowds
6 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.Death of the Captain begins to become evidentPulse and strength are goneVoyage is over, safe and soundObject won-Civil War (end of slavery)Exultation/bells-rejoice the endCaptain=Abraham Lincoln--dead
7 Symbols and Important Images Captain=Abraham LincolnPrize=End to SlaveryObject Won=End to Civil War
8 Tone/ Mood Beginning= celebratory, a time for rejoicing a victory Middle=disbelief of tragedyEnd=realization of the tragedy of the death of the “Captain”
9 Themes Loyalty: commitment to the fallen leader Coming of Age: speaker trying to force himself to believe/understand what has happenedDeath: abrupt and unexpected, glory in death?
10 A Final ThoughtAlthough the poem departs from the style of Whitman’s other poems, it is his most popular and most celebrated. His vivid images and use of emotion draws in the reader and leaves a sense of loss and emptiness. This is the same loss that was felt by the American people when their Captain, Abraham Lincoln, was brutally and unexpectedly murdered. In a time of new beginning in America, the people needed a poet like Walt Whitman and a poem like O Captain, My Captain.