O Captain! My Captain!

“O Captain! My Captain!” is one poem that the peps knew by heart. Written by American writer Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819-March 26, 1892), this was our entry piece in the various group reading contests that our school took part in. Learning and memorizing this poem really produced some of the most hilarious moments that we, as a class, experienced.

We remember Mrs. Sunga, our new English department head then, who gave us all the tongue-twisting workshops to improve our pronunciation. We also remember some classmates, particularly Mel Abas who took these workshops seriously, his newly-acquired American twang making all of us roar in laughter.

And while at it, let’s mention the class’ best declaimers: Red George Hizon, Salvador Ignacio and Armando Ching.

Here’s the poem once again:

O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;

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 all exulting,
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,

Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;

Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,

You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;

Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.


One thought on “O Captain! My Captain!

  1. Eddie Roberto

    You didn’t mention the famous line that made Mel Abas as the Declaimer of the Year. Whoa! Until now, my dear, napapanaginipan ko pa rin ang katagang…”Follow”, na habang binibigkas ni Mel ay kukurap-kurap ang kanyang mga mata.

    O, eto…who popularized this? “Deprived of knowledge, the lonely boy walks again towards a place he doesn’t know where. He seems not to be fully contented of himself…asking question…why?” He-he-he…THAT IS MY NAME!!!

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