Walt Whitman's poem, "Oh Captain! My Captain! Eis easily taken at face value. There are young sailors coming back from a long, hard journey, to find a pier full of excited bystanders to greet their return. The narrator goes on to tell the captain the good news and finds him dead, and not able to celebrate with the rest of the population. There is an extensive metaphor between the captain of the ship and Abraham Lincoln. With the knowledge of what was happening in history at that time and re-reading the poem, a completely different story is told. The first few lines of the poem introduce this metaphor, alluding to the Civil War period, which the rest of the poem expands on. This metaphor between Lincoln and the captain is conveying Whitman's grief towards recent events.
The diction in this poem consists of repetitive phrases along with powerful and moving words, which are sad in nature. "But O heart! heart! heart! E5) imitates the rhythm of the human heartbeat, which has stopped for the captain. It also depicts the adrenaline rush, which makes the heart beat in faster repetitions. This description followed by; "O the bleeding drops of red! Where on the deck my Captain lies, E(6-7); conveys an image of the sailor watching the man lying on the deck without life, but is not convinced that he is actually dead. The situation, "Fallen cold and dead. E8) alludes to the fact that Whitman is in denial towards the death of Lincoln. Extending on this idea, with the recent accomplishments of winning the Civil War and holding on to the Union, he feels that Lincoln's death is impossible.
Whitman later talks about the celebration with references towards the bells, flag, bugles, bouquets, wreaths, and crowded shores, which are described in lines (9-10):
O Captain! My Captain! rise up and hear the bells
Rise up Efor you the flag is flung Efor you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths Efor you the shores a crowding, When looking at the situation, a welcome back celebration for the captain and his crew is seen. However, as the metaphor is thought of, there are two meanings that can be achieved. The bells, bugles, flag, and crowds can be symbols of the end of the war from the military...