Robin Williams: In Memoriam

O Captain! My Captain!
by Walt Whitman

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.

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Published in Poetry & Stories


  1. dandelionsmiles04

    I was sadden by the news of Robin Williams Death. I grew up watching him on Mork & Mindy and Happy Days. I continued to watch him in movies throughout my adulthood. He was a great comedian and will be dearly missed.

    1. laurie Post author

      Thanks so much for your comment Dandelion. It is so true. You may recall his character in “Dead Poets Society” inspired his students with this poem.

  2. msval58

    To quote a song by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles: “They’re some sad things known to man, but ain’t too much sadder than the tears of a clown.”
    R.I.P. Robin Williams, you legacy is laughter, and you can’t do much better than that.

  3. pollie

    such a sad loss of a brilliant comedian, writer and actor.. Our loss is heavens gain. I was lucky enough to meet him at the ‘comedy store’ in LA in 1979 where he came and shook everyone’s hand. A day I will never forget R.I.P Robin nanoo nanoo 🙁 🙁

  4. heart

    I couldn’t comment immediately following reading this earlier. Too touching. I’ve come back to it. Still, it is such a painfully appropriate poem, for not only was it in his Dead Poet’s Society movie but it seems personally to apply to all the grieving people wishing they could have only told him how much they loved him before it was too late. Thank you for the perfect perfect tribute to Robin Williams, Laurie.