Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 15: O Captain! My Captain! (Vol. 42, pp. 1412-1420)

There is no way around it. It is impossible to mark the death of Abraham Lincoln without Walt Whitman's "O Captain My Captain!" and "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd."

Lincoln's assassination devastated Whitman and inspired him to write these works. Nothing else has the power, the beauty, the sadness of these two poems — works that encompassed all the emotions of a great national trauma.

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