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O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! My Captain!

by Walt Whitman

Suffering Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

But O heart! heart! heart! (5)

The speaker is so overwhelmed that he can’t express the pain he’s feeling at the sight of his fallen captain. That's some serious suffering.

Quote #5

This arm beneath your head; (14)

As a nurse during the Civil War, Whitman likely held many dying men. Not fun. The pain he must have experienced in such a moment really makes this image—the dead captain in the sailor’s arms—the climax of the poem.

Quote #6

It is some dream that on the deck (15)

Again, the sailor cannot face the reality of the captain’s death. The suffering is unreal, in a way.

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