Analysis Of The Poem ' O Captain ! My Captain ' By Walt Whitman

1123 Words5 Pages
Poetry is not only a form of art, but it’s a special tool many could use to help them cope with death. There can be many unwanted feelings provoked when reading or writing poetry. There have been many occasions where I have read a poem and suddenly felt angry, and in some cases I cried. There isn’t just one right way to write poetry; it can be funny and it could be sad. Poetry is written in many different styles such as free verse, iambic, Haiku, and Limerick. The captivating elegy “O Captain! My Captain!” by Walt Whitman is about a fallen captain or leader who was seen as a hero to his people. This poem not only tells a story, but in many ways it captures the grief and mourning one deals with during the death of a loved one. The word choice the illustrator uses lets the audience know from the very beginning that this poem is about someone who is very near and dear to the speaker and not just someone he is associated with. This is indicated from the very beginning starting with the tittle. “O Captain! My Captain!” The tittle is one of the first things that catches the eye. It is being used as a clue to let the reader know what the poem is going to be about without having to actually read it. The words O Captain! My Captain! is punctuated with exclamation marks. The exclamation mark indicates the speaker is calling out with a strong emotion to the captain. The type of emotion a person would have when burying a loved one, and isn’t ready to say goodbye to that person for good. It’s later found out at the end of the first stanza that the captain is actually dead. “Where on the deck my Captain lies/Fallen cold and dead” (L7-8). This type of title is known as the apostrophe because the speaker is directly addressing a captain who is... ... middle of paper ... ...lebrating their victory with him. “My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still / My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will” (L17-18). The tone in the third stanza changes drastically from an excitement to a more sorrow tone, and the speaker gets a grip on reality. He is in the final stage of mourning and has accepted the fact that his beloved captain is dead and gone forever. Throughout life one will have to deal with the death of loved ones, and they will cope with it in many ways. Writing and reading poetry has helped me cope with the death of many close friends and family. It has showed me that death can be a beautiful thing, and it has allowed me to show my emotions through a multitude of windows. Poetry is the art of what one feels at that point and moment in time. It has been a powerful tool for me when it comes to loss and death.
Open Document