Lincoln often and regarded him as a great leader of the country. Lincoln’s assassination plunged the poet,
like the rest of the nation, into a numbing grief, and Whitman’s elegies to
Lincoln are among his best-known work.
|O Captain, My
Captain, is uncharacteristically conventional in form. Whitman said later that he was sorry that
he wrote it, since it was a popular favorite and not at all characteristic of
last in the dooryard bloom’d” is one
of his great poems. It uses images of sight--the evening star--of
sound,--the mournful thrush--and of smell--the lilacs--to memorialize the
Western leader and mourn his passing.