Words of Wisdom
Quote: "Women sit or move to and fro, some old, some young, / The young are beautiful--but the old are more beautiful than the young."
Analysis: The cynic in me thinks that perhaps Walt was busting a move on an older woman. The part of me that loves beautiful women isn't sure what to think. The English teacher in me wants to read this poem to his class and watch the sneers and hear the protestations. The man in me doesn't dare read this poem to his wife because she'll think I'm either calling her old or calling her less beautiful than someone else. Let's move on.
Quote: "O Captain my Captain! our fearful trip is done, / The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won"
Analysis: And so begins Whitman's tribute to Abraham Lincoln. The captain is Lincoln. The fearful trip is the Civil War. The prize is the preservation of the Union. For a complete analysis of "O Captain! My Captain" follow the link.
Quote: "THIS dust was once the Man, / Gentle, plain, just and resolute—under whose cautious hand, / Against the foulest crime in history known in any land or age, / Was saved the Union of These States."
Analysis: You probably already realize that Whitman really admired Lincoln. He shared Lincoln's view that the preservation of the Union meant the preservation of the republic.