O Captain! ….eh.

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.
— Walt Whitman

Reading poetry is just as important as writing poetry. Reading helps you find your subject niche. Now, there will always be poetry and writing snobs in your life. If you dislike their favorite author, you aren’t a real writer. If you hate a certain genre, you’re dead to them. It’s a lesson that every writer learns one way or another. In college I recall being accosted by a fellow student because I couldn’t find myself interested in beat poetry in the least. In fact, I couldn’t sit through a single beat poetry night at the local coffee shop because I found it so extraordinarily boring. So I left and decided that this sector of poetry just wasn’t for me.

When you meet the brick wall which marks your dislike of a certain style of poetry or author, don’t fret. Embrace this fact. Don’t worry about whether or not people will think you’re not as artsy or intelligent as them. Be passionate about what you enjoy. Maybe you love Burns and hate Yeats. Then throw yourself into Burns and enjoy every ounce of poetry he offers. When people comment on what you do and do not like, explain that their opinion is just that…an opinion. The whole concept of English Snobbery is, thankfully, fading with each passing day. It doesn’t matter if everyone else thinks your author is stupid. If you like him or her, that’s enough. Screw the majority and be proud of your minority language loves.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *