Song of Myself - of his physical sensations He can enjoy...

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Ivan Ivanov Song of Myself (Whitman) This poem celebrates the poet’s self, but, while the “I” is the poet himself, it is, at the same time, universalized. Whitman says he will “sing myself,” but “what I assume you shall assume,/For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” The poet loafs on the grass and invites his soul to appear. He is thirty seven years old and “in perfect health.” He hopes to continue his celebration of self until his death. In section 2, the self, asserting its identity, declares its separateness from civilization and its closeness to nature. “Houses and rooms are full of perfume,” Whitman says. “Perfumes” are symbols of other individual selves; but outdoors, the earth’s atmosphere denotes the universal self. The poet is tempted to let himself be submerged by other individual selves, but he is determined to maintain his individuality. The poet expresses the joy he feels through his senses. He is enthralled by the ecstasy
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Unformatted text preview: of his physical sensations. He can enjoy each of the five senses—tasting, hearing, smelling, touching, and seeing-and even more—the process of breathing, the beating of his heart, and “the feeling of health.” He invites the reader to “stop this day and night” with him in order to discover “the origin of all poems.” In the third and fourth sections, Whitman scolds the “talkers,” “trippers,” and “askers” for wasting their time discussing “the beginning and the end.” He prepares himself for the union of his body with his soul: “I witness and wait.” As his soul is “clear and sweet,” so are all the other parts of his body -and everyone’s bodies. “Not an inch . .. is vile, and none shall be less familiar than the rest.” Section 5 is the poet’s ecstatic revelation of union with his soul. He has a feeling of fraternity and oneness with God and his fellowmen and a vision of love. This union brings him peace and joy....
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This note was uploaded on 02/07/2011 for the course ECON 412 taught by Professor Jiggly during the Spring '11 term at Jefferson College.

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