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Unformatted text preview: Walt Whitman- “collection”—one author’s works- he is a man of the people, for the working man- Leaves of Grass: “Song of Myself” (1855)- quarrelism: everyone counts- Emerson wrote him congratulating him- had a series of jobs: newspaper, bohemian life in manhattan- radical liberalism, homosexual- “ cosmic conciousness ” – consciousness of poetic persona, consciousness of us all, this is poetry of democracy- Song of Myself- Ideas: • Singing: we must celebrate in song, for an important message = title, epic poem, so underline title (Song of Myself , Leaves of Grass) , he means blades of grass, the entity that is contained with that small blade of grass • He’s saying “look at everything”- colors, green grass • We are in a short time span of our lives, make the moment count, don’t just be like “I need to do this and this and this” then the day is over; but more like Franklin—senses and impressions you’ve had during the day, something pretty/ugly, learn something, etc. • Not meant to be solipsistic poem (narcisism)—it is all eyes, it is the eye of all of us, a poem abt the single most imporant element of democracy: the SELF • Parallel with Homer’s Odyssey: begins—I sing (poetic persona ) of arms and of men, meant that weaponry—epic poem of national warcry for a nation, 1 st is it victory, 2 nd is it the men • Emerson would say: first is celebration of human beings, it is not a man who is a soldier, it is a man- Lines: • …my tongue, every atom, … parents the same = we now have literary great; we have literature before this, its about history, this is a new romantic way of living • Line 79 verse: he participates in life and describes it and he wants to live his life in the fullest; and is questioning “backward I see, I sweated through fog with linguist and contendors”—arguing, say hey see a point my way, now he’s saying I have no mockings/arguments now, I witness and wait • “hoping to cease not to live” line 10 “creeds and schools” – put what you believe and what your school of thought is to the side; just let it be, let things happen • “I hard him for good bad, nature without check, with original energy”—normally hear original sin, this is anti-calvinist; ie a grocery list, check off things on list, so check means a stop, nature is never checked off list, it comes with its original energy • Sec 2: “houses and rooms are full of perfumes”—W. Europe; “breed fragrance, know it and like it”— dec of ind, of America voice in American literature/way, nothing artificial, natural smell (fragrances), now will talk abt sexy smell of nature—atmosphere is not a perfume, odorless, finds the sex in it, “naked”- 1 st time naked, “mad for it to be in contact with me echoes, ripples, buzz, whispers, love roots, silk threat, crotch and vine…” “my respiration, inspiration, beating of my heart, few kisses, embraces”- of man in a love making terms with Nature...
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- Spring '09
- The Odyssey