Song Of Myself By Walt Whitman Essay

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In a variety of Walt Whitman’s poems, the first person narrative emphasizes that the emotions expressed in his writing are unique to him. In his poem Song of Myself, he describes a scene in nature involving a wild goose call. He reflects “The pert may suppose it meaningless, but I listening close,/ Find its purpose and place up there toward the wintry sky…. I see in them myself and the same old law” (6). The use of the first person shows how Whitman’s interpretations of the events he depicts do not apply to all people. He admits that other people may find the goose call “meaningless”, showing his understanding that his feelings of mutual connectedness with the world is not a universal reaction. Whitman is able to show that the emotions evoked…show more content…
In Song of Myself, Whitman inquires as to whether the audience has ever had similar experiences to his own. He questions, “Have you reckoned a thousand acres much? have [sic] you reckon’d the earth much?/ Have you practis’d so long to learn to read?” (4). Whitman’s questions begin the transition from Whitman’s own reflections to his reader’s. He prompts his audience to consider situations similar to those that inspired his own contemplation. By turning the focus from his own personal conclusion to the audience’s, Whitman begins to encourage them to come to their own conclusions. Whitman continues this encouragement by outright asking for their thoughts on life and death. Later in the same poem, he asks his readers, “What do you think has become of the young and old men?/ And what do you think has become of the women and children?” (5). Whitman is asking the audience to come to their own conclusion surrounding the mystery of death. His prompt forces his readers to think for themselves, and ultimately come to their own conclusion. Whitman’s poetry is no longer reserved for his own reflection, it embraces the different reflections of other people. Walt Whitman uses the second person to shift the focus of his poetry from his own interpretations to the interpretations of his
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