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Walt Whitman- Song of Myself

Walt Whitman- Song of Myself - Walt Whitman collectionone...

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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,
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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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