between North and South is over. The poet imagines America as the ship and President Abraham Lincoln as the captain. The captain has steered the ship through the stormy and turbulent voyage, representing the bloodshed of the Civil War, and the ship has reached the port safely. This indicates the victory of the country over the bloody civil war. President Abraham has brought down the Civil War and preserved the countries unity and integrity. This is the object which America has won. But President Abraham Lincoln under whose able leadership the Civil War is brought downfalls a victim to the enemy’s bullets. The people are rejoining to celebrate the victory and welcome the President. The flag is fluttering in the wind. The trumpet sounds and bouquets and garlands adorned with ribbon are brought as presents to him. The shore is crowded with peole. But he is lying dead on the deck in a pool of blood. The poet mourns his tragic death. He cannot believe his death. He paces up and down on the deck brooding over the death of his President.
1. Do you think that Walt Whitman’s O Captain! My Captain! is an elegy?
Ans. The elegy is a poem of mournfulness. It is the poet’s meditation over death. But the note of sorrow changes into joy and resignation towards the close of the elegy. The features of an elegy are present in this poem. The poem opens with the note of sadness of the death of Abraham Lincoln, the great President of America and ends on a note of rejoicing of the leader’s victory over the bloody Civil War of the country. The poet lament the leader’s death and on the other hand, praises highly his success in his mission. So that the poem can be called an elegy.
2. “The ship is anchored safe and sound …” a) Where does the sentence occur in? What does the ship refer to ? b) Explain briefly the meaning of the line.
Ans. a) This sentence occurs in Walth Whitman’s poem entitled “O Captain! My Captain!” The ‘ship’ in this poem refers to America. Abraham Lincoln is imagined as the Captain of the ship.
b) The poet metaphorically says that the ship, manned by Abraham Lincoln, imagined as the captain has to face the stormy and turbulent sea. The storm and turbulance might have wrecked the ship. But the captain was able and expert; he brought it ashore safely. It has now been anchored well so