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Song of Myself is a poem by Walt Whitman's. This poem presents a continual stream of human consciousness, where he attempts to analyze death as natural and transformative process, which ought to occur to everybody. Walt Whitman was an American poet born in 1819 and died on 26th March 1892. The poet was born in Town of Huntington, Long Island, New York, U.S.In his previous years, Whitman worked as government employee ,and during the helm of his literally work he used to work as health care assistant in the American war .
He is regarded as a humanist, who saw the transition of 1800s transcendentalism into realism, which incorporated both concepts and views of his work. During his reign, his literally work was regarded as controversial because it incorporated my contents that were regarded as sexually obscene. It is the same poem, Song of Myself, which marked Whitman’s career as an influential poet of the time. Among the 12 poems found in the in the publication Leaves of grass, it is only the “Song of Myself” which has emerged as the most famous.
Themes in “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman’s
Various themes have been depicted in the poem, and the most identifiable ones include the concept of shared experience, Divinity, Love, Sexuality, death, and nature.
Under the theme of Self, Whitman describes personal relationships as a natural part of life, where he affirms the positive connection between personal feelings and relationship with other people. This concept depicted in the verse “I celebrate myself and sing myself, and what I assume you shall assume, for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you”. The poet does not discriminate elements of life and he elaborates that their equality among all things in the world, whether dead or alive. According to Whitman, the self represents both individual life and the universe. After reading the poem, the reader of the poem appreciates everything around them as connected, and nothing occurs under separate entity. Egalitarianism with the related shared experience is also presented in verse 48, which says “I have said that the soul is not more than the body, and I have said that the body is not more than the soul.” This verse illustrates the tranquility in the poem, which gives all components of the body equal merits. Despite of lives most gracious gifts, further down he continues to lament due to the fact that there is not even a single person who seems to hear his prayers and so he continues to feel extremely sorry for himself. The theme of self interrelates with life since one’s life is determined by the inner self.
Another theme critically depicted is Death. All through the poem, Whitman describes death as a natural part of every individual life. He does not believe on physical death, and he assumes that when one dies he will rise again in another transformed form, “They are alive and well somewhere, the smallest sprout shows there is really no death.” In this theme, he also affirms his contribution to the world, where he argues that even after he dies, his corpse will contribute to establishment of new life on earth. This means he does not believe in death. Despite the fact that he sees death as transformation to another life, he eludes the prospect of an afterlife after one dies. This theme is elaborated in section 6, where he says, “all goes onward and outward, nothing collapses.” Whitman regards life as a gift from God, and he personifies life as anchor, which links the living and the non – living. Daybreaks have been mentioned to mean life and sunset to mean death .He compares death thought of losing someone he loved. It’s during his imaginations when the poet’s soul of the poet becomes extremely invigorated. A new thought and idea of the Lord, who is very fair, appears to sing as a sign for rejuvenation and rebirth of new hope.
In relation to nature, the poet is analyzed to value everything around him. In verse 31, he clearly attributes the value of nature when he says, “the pismire is equally perfect, and a grain of sand, and the egg of the wren…”.This shows his respect for nature, and natural links between different elements in the world. Nature, which has been presented here, is such a powerful feeling or emotion that is capable of creating even the strongest linkage between individuals. According Whitman’s, nature is depicted to indicate manifestations of different intellectual realizations and achievements by specific persons belonging to different groups. This also looks at the ideas, social behaviors and customs of the specific individuals. Still under aspect of life and the nature surrounding man.
In relation to the theme sexuality, Whitman’s describes sexuality as an element that makes soul sensual .The encounter of two individuals in section five expresses the poets desire in relation to sex ,which he values as the synthesis of body and soul. He critically argues that sensual feeling is part of life, which makes it more enjoyable since if one is not living, they cannot enjoy it. Sexual union is depicted to mean the poets anticipation of having a divine life. As the poet concludes, there is a declaration of joyous moment which is brought forth by this thought presented by sensual feeling. This appears enough in convincing the reader that he is pretty better living than when dead.
Comment of Whitman's language and verse
One thing about this poem is that it depicts several literary devices such as alliteration, similes, metaphors, tone and imagery. In writing the poem, Whitman's uses a lot of imagery as an indicative of life and death. This way death and life clearly presented. Metaphors and personification have also been used in the poem. These relate to the exact happenings in life. There is also the consistent use of imagery to depict things life love and its meaning. For example, the line “I celebrate myself and sing myself, and what I assume you shall assume, for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you”, is a simile. These have been paralleled with the major issues presented in the poem. Similes to the life events have also been amplified in the poem. A lot of alliterations are also evident in the poem. The tone of realism and humanity has also been praised in this poem. This presents the cries and anguish of the narrator. The reader will be in a position of getting the tone of the poem from the first reading. The use of specific words such as ‘dark night’ and ‘love’ help to set the poem’s tone. There are numerous allusions of the poem to other works that are symbolic. Whitman also uses alliterations in the poem. The alliteration of letter 'b' sound is presented in broken blinds. In lines ten to twelve, there is the presentation of a lark simile. Here he presents the simile by giving a description of his very love he possesses for his well being and emotional state.
Song of Myself by Walt Whitman’s contains a total of contains 52 verses describing the feeling of life and death. In almost all verses, Whitman presents the internal girth obtained from self satisfaction. The poems analyze living as the lifestyle, while death as an escape to life’s suffering. The author explains the exact meaning of death, love, life, and how human beings relate to each other. Reading the poems, the author expresses his own feelings and emotions through use of words that can easily be understood by the reader. This is why he concentrated on the major issues directly affecting people’s lives. The main concern of the author was to understand the meaning of life and how people can be happier in it. Some of the harsh facts and situations he came across in his life regarding death and meaning of the hostile world must have inspired him to write these poems. The 52 verses in the poem are presented by the author in such a way that they describe the main feeling felt by an individual after enjoying life to the fullest. This unexplainable feeling has very many impacts on one’s emotions and life in general.
In conclusion, Whitman views and opinions about life, love and death strike me. This is because he presents the realities of life, love and mistrust in men. The poems explain the meaning of living and the mistrust that comes with it.