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O Captain! My Captain! - In Memoriam to Robin Williams

Updated on December 28, 2017
LiliMarlene profile image

As a German-English screenwriter, filmmaker/director, photographer and illustrator I simply love everything creative and fanciful.

Carpe Diem!

O Captain!

O Captain, was my first thought. Another girl lost her father. Looks as if this is an epidemic disease since my Dad died. But of course her brothers lost him as well and suffer like she does. So did mine, it's just that I can feel with her. Yesterday, August 11, 2014, it was Zelda Rae´s Dad and I send her and all of Robin Williams´ loved ones my condolences.

Through his films Robin Williams always was again and again like a mirror to all of us. He taught us to get up, to stand for our opinions, our dreams, our hopes, our goals and for love, justice, peace, laughter and so much more.

With all his films, in each new story it looked as if he wanted to encourage and remind us that life is beautiful and that we shall not hesitate, not feel weak or discouraged, but enjoy it to the fullest and follow our inner voice and our heart. Isn´t it a cruel irony of life that he himself had all these fears and could not deal with it and not follow his own advice? I got a violent shock when I read he supposedly killed himself by Suffocation.

I would like to remind you to his films as I loved and enjoyed them and still don´t know all of them. Today I cannot do this, I promise to complete and work out this article later. Today I lost one of my Captains.

The world has lost a wonderful actor and a complete generation lost a huge piece of its childhood now. Rest in Peace, Robin Williams. O Captain!

O Captain.

Zelda Williams and her Dad, Robin Williams. I love that picture. Too bad, there was no pic with him and the boys or all together.
Zelda Williams and her Dad, Robin Williams. I love that picture. Too bad, there was no pic with him and the boys or all together. | Source

O Captain! My Captain!

You all probably know this poem by Walt Whitman at least from the famous movie Dead Poets Society with Robin Williams. Here is the text again. I chose this as it expresses so much of what people all around the globe feel after the news of Robin´s death ran around the world.

Walt Whitman: 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.

Scenes out of Dead Poets Society

Carpe diem!

O boy, was that necessary? What a tragedy. I do feel depressive as well since my father died and hope I am not getting this as a disease. Somehow Robin Williams´ death now jolted me. I am still alive and I should follow the proverb "Carpe diem!" which he mentions in Dead Poets Society.

You fellow writers and readers here can blame me now for reducing this article just to this one film. Yes, and I agree. I did, because it is like a mirror. Ask yourself: Did and do I really follow my dreams in all consequences? Did and do I take every chance? How could it happen that some people who supposedly are loved ones blocked me in reaching my goals and fulfilling my dreams in the past. Plus, how can I become better?

Today I read a quote on Twitter. I forgot the exact words, but it was like: "I rather be a lone wolf and follow my dreams than live with someone dishonest and putting me down."

Writing gives me wings to fly and it is each time like the first time. You spread your wings, you don´t dare, you doubt you will be able to find the right words, hesitate to start a story, doubt that the wings of your sentences will carry you up to the end of your text or your story and then while doing, while writing you feel life itself. Like the wind and the thermal updraft under your wings. It is fascinating and I am now the more grateful and willing to sharpen my awareness for this: Carpe diem!

This is why I liked that film and chose it for this article. Plus, I am of course lead by my sad emotions now and think I will add and complete this article. Maybe by writing another one in addition, in a few days with more about Robin Williams movies and what we all can learn from him.

Dear Robin, it is so sad that you could not find any other solution and no healing for your disease. So I send my condolences to your wife, your children and all your loved ones and friends.

R.I.P. Robin Williams and thank you for all the touching moments and the laughter you brought into my home since I was a little girl. Good bye!

Dead Poets Society and the Captain

December 2016

Two years after Robin's death I couldn't wait when it was announced the film Dead Poets Society will be on tv. Of course, I watched it, but I must admit I did not watch it to the end. It was hard to see how the character Neil wants to become an actor and how his father reacts. Not only reminds this most of us to similar moments in our own lives - I simply remembered the rest of the story and, again, Robin's suicide and could not watch on. My own feelings shocked me because I really love this movie as it is such a great story, a great script, well told and a wonderful film. Anyway, just my emotions. But I learned something I did not remember when I wrote this Hub right after Robin's death: Walt Whitman wrote the poem O Captain! My Captain! when Abraham Lincoln was killed. Who would do this today for any politician?

© 2014 Elisabeth Meier


Submit a Comment
  • LiliMarlene profile imageAUTHOR

    Elisabeth Meier 

    3 years ago

    Thank you HSchneider, very nice of you to comment this. Happy that you liked it. I didn't know he also produced stand-up albums! Will search for it online. And I agree, his characters were always very human no matter the genre.

  • profile image

    Howard Schneider 

    3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

    Wonderful Hub and comments, LiliMarlene. Robin Williams was my favorite from the beginning of his career. His comedy and movies were truly original and very, very human. I still miss seeing and hearing him. Except of course on his comedy stand-up albums which I still have and still listen to.

  • LiliMarlene profile imageAUTHOR

    Elisabeth Meier 

    4 years ago

    Right after Robin Williams died there was such a hype about him and his life. This is why I kept my article short and personal. I just wanted to honor him and his work and tell how he influenced me as his films make people laugh and forget their own sorrows - at least I feel that way by watching them. It is always a little journey back to my childhood to watch him. This article is to show my respect, to pay tribute to his work. Please, feel free to do the same by your comment. Thank you.


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