Examples of Good, Okay, and Needing Work responses to "O Captain, My Captain" by Walt Whitman. Students can evaluate their test to determine where they are at, and what they can do to improve their test responses and poetry analysis.
A closer look at what’s perfect, what’s close, and what’s wandering away
Great: I think the poem is going to be a bout a captain of a sea ship, and his crew is enduring hardships through the ocean. Okay: I think the poem will be about a captain sailing a ship and they’re in danger of crashing or something. I predict this story is going to be about a really bad storm that the captain and crew members had to face Needs more: I think that it will be about a captain
Good: Lines 1-4: they won a prize/treasure and are nearing the port Lines 5-8: the captain of the ship is dead on the deck Lines 9-16: crowd on shore wants to see him but he won’t respond to his son Lines 17-24: the ship is safe in port but the son is still mournful Okay The ship has weather’d every rack: every rack is old Rise up for you the flag: honor the captain Needs more/Not close The captain is dead wich is the father of him or her The ship has weather’d every crack that it has on there the people are all exulting
Good: Dead (-) not alive; bleeding (-) dying, losing blood; mournful (-) sad; won (+) achieved; eager (+) excited; grim (-) dark-looking Okay: The words that have negative are that his captain is fallen cold and dead. The positive ones are where he says they’re trip is done. Positive words: won, done, head, father, eager Negative words: dead, tread, still, pale, stale, red Needs more/Not close: I believe he or she’s tone is loud Line 2: weather’d
Good: The attitude of the people/person is that they’re happy that they won but once they go tell their captain and he’s dead, it’s like good and bad. Everything was going good because they won the trip and prize, but sad to find their captain dead with no pulse or will. Okay: The author’s tone is very sad. Overall the poem the attitude could be love because everyone is theire just for the captain to show appreciation. And depressed someone died. Needs more/Not close: The attitude and the plot does not change because it starts and ends the same.
Good: The attitude went from happy and everybody cheering to sad because the captain died. The poet shifts in attitude from happy in lines 1-4 to sad in lines 5-8. Then repeats this in lines 9-12 (happy) and 14-16 (sad) Okay The change in attitude stays the same and also time. What changes is the description of the captain at each stanza. The time shifts along with the stanzas Poem shifs from end rhyme to not rhyming throug out the whole poem Needs more/Not close No shifts
Good: I was half right. It is about a captain and ship, but it wasn’t saving anybody. The captain was dead. Okay: I was correct on my prediction and the poem did describe what I had originally believed and thought. My prediction overall was correct. Needs more/Not close: My prediction was right
Good: The theme is that the enormous terrifying sea is dangerous because it even killed the captain. The theme in this poem is that life isn’t fair, and that to obtain something you need to give something away. In this poem, an example was winning a battle and then having someone die. Okay The purpose of this poem was probably to show how much he loves him and wanted to show it. He also has good meaning toward this story to show how even the happiest days can go wrong. Needs more/Not close: The theme was about them being on a boat for a long time. It wasn’t pretty on the boat. The people were frightened and scared.
Good: Rhyme: gets one point across to the next Head/dead, still/will, won/done Okay The devices used were illiteration, end rhyme, rhyme. Illiteration – flag is flung for End rhyme – head/dead Rhyme – near/hear Needs more/Not close: The device of the poem is the captain because it is the main character There is figurative language in the poem like head/dead