Walt Whitman Wrote A Letter
Have you ever kept rewriting a story or poem
because you just weren't satisfied with it? Walt Whitman wrote
his poem about President Lincoln, "O Captain! My Captain!" in
1865, but he revised it in 1866, and again in 1871.
After the wrong version of his poem was published in the
Riverside Literature Series No. 32, Whitman wrote to the
publishers on February 9, 1888. "Somehow you have got a couple
of bad perversions in 'O Captain,'" he wrote, "I send you a
Do you know why Whitman wrote the poem
about Abraham Lincoln?
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
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel
grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding
drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
cold and dead.
Whitman wrote the poem in response to the
assassination of the president just as the Civil War was coming
to an end. His poem was so popular, and he was requested to
recite it so often, that he said, "I'm almost sorry I ever wrote
[it] . .