— Trucker Poet
Where Rubber Meets The Road and Walt Whitman
Published in 1918 by Doubleday, Page & Company, The Patriotic Poems of Walt Whitman has four sections: Poems of War, Poems of After-War, Poems of America, and Poems of Democracy. The War for Whitman was the American Civil War, which he saw first-hand while tending wounded soldiers in DC hospitals. These poems are as relevant today as they were in his time.
Thick-sprinkled bunting! flag of stars! Long yet your road, fateful flag--long yet your road, and lined with bloody death, For the prize I see at issue at last is the world, All its ships and shores I see interwoven with your threads greedy banner; Dream'd again the flags of kings, highest borne, to flaunt unrival'd? O hasten flag of man--O with sure and steady step, passing highest flags of kings, Walk supreme to the heavens mighty symbol--run up above them all, Flag of stars! thick-sprinkled bunting!
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, 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.
Year That Trembled and Reel’d Beneath Me
Year that trembled and reel'd beneath me! Your summer wind was warm enough, yet the air I breathed froze me, A thick gloom fell through the sunshine and darken'd me, Must I change my triumphant songs? said I to myself, Must I indeed learn to chant the cold dirges of the baffled, And sullen hymns of defeat?