Prayer of Columbus

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"Prayer of Columbus" is a poem written by American poet Walt Whitman. The poem evokes the enterprising spirit of the Christopher Columbus in a God-fearing light, who rediscovered the North American continent in 1492, leading to the colonization of the Americas by the emerging European powers. Although the Viking Leif Ericson has generally been credited as having discovered the North American continent roughly 500 years earlier, Columbus' rediscovery has had a more lasting impact on the colonization trends that continued up until around the onset of World War I. Thus, Whitman's poem serves as a fitting tribute to the proper explorer.

Portions of Whitman's "Prayer of Columbus" have been enscribed in gilded letters in the marble wall of the Archives/Navy Memorial metro station in Washington, D.C.

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