O’Captain! My Captain!


By Andrej Suskavcevic, CAE
President & Chief Executive Officer at Craft & Hobby Association

Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society (1989)

Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society (1989)

Hearing of the passing of Robin Williams brings profound sadness. The world lost one of the greats. An individual who delighted the masses and brought so much joy to peoples lives only to have lost his own to a terrible mental illness. There is much work to be done in the battle for mental wellness and I am proud to be part of an industry that is playing a role in that battle. Art and other forms of creative expression are important tools in helping achieve mental wellness and we are seeing more and more facilities and hospitals incorporating art therapy in their programs.

Our own research at CHA indicates that crafting has helped people relax and feel a sense of accomplishment. Crafting is just one tool in the battle for mental wellness but more needs to be done.

Many today will be looking up Robin Williams on YouTube and watching his movies. I for one tip my hat for his role in Dead Poets Society and share with you a Walt Whitman classic. For you Robin, 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!

The 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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