Leaves of Grass Memories of President Lincoln: Summary and Analysis

Walt Whitman

Memories of President Lincoln: Summary and Analysis

When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d - Summary
The first poem of the Memories of President Lincoln grouping is its best known. As an elegy, it commemorates the death of President Lincoln by assassination on April 14, 1865, though it never mentions the president directly. Whitman begins the poem by painting a picture of spring and fading flowers, which mark the event of the death of the president. In the same way that spring will return and the lilacs will bloom again, so will the president remain in Whitman’s thoughts. Caught in a moment of deep grief over the loss “of him I love,” Whitman feels “helpless” at the “cruel hands that hold [him] powerless” in the face of death,

In the...

(The entire section is 1076 words.)