Walt Whitman

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What is the message of "O Captain! My Captain!"?

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The poem was a tribute to Abraham Lincoln, who had been assassinated in 1865, the year in which the poem was written.

The poem is divided into three stanzas. The first stanza begins in a celebratory mode, for the Civil War has been won by the Union:

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.

The "fearful trip" is a metaphor for the war, and "the prize" is the...

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