Walt Whitman Wrote A Letter
February 9, 1888
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.
Whitman wrote the poem in response to the assassination of the president just as the Civil War was coming to an end. His poem was so popular, and he was requested to recite it so often, that he said, "I'm almost sorry I ever wrote [it] . . ."
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