October 22, 2018

Today in History: O Captain! My Captain!

Letter and corrected reprint of Walt Whitman's "O Captain, My Captain" with comments by author, 9 February 1888.
Today in History–February 9–the Library of Congress features a letter Walt Whitman wrote on this day in 1888 noting corrections to his poem “O Captain! My Captain!” published that year by The Riverside Literature Series No. 32. Whitman informed the publishers that they had not printed the most recent version Whitman had revised for the second time in 1871 (Whitman first wrote the poem in 1865, the year Lincoln was assassinated, and revised it for the first time soon after it was published). Learn more about this poem and its author and subject by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to discover more related resources.

“O Captain! My Captain!” versions

Curator notes to letter and corrected reprint of Walt Whitman’s “O Captain, My Captain”

The ‘Parallel Lives’ of Lincoln and Whitman (LOC.gov Wise Guide)

O Captain! My Captain” Library of Congress Magazine March/April 2015 (p. 16)

Criticism: Eiselein, Gregory. “O Captain! My Captain!” published in Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, Garland Publishing, 1998

“O Captain! My Captain!” teaching ideas

Related resources

Learning from the Source: Putting Loss into Words activities comparing poetry about Lincoln by Walt Whitman and others

Primary Source Learning About Lincoln

Today in History: Walt Whitman

Presidential Spotlight: Abraham Lincoln

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