Song of Myself by Walt Whitman

903 WordsJan 28, 20184 Pages
Working within the individual / community opposition of mid-nineteenth-century America, an opposition that essentially defines the ultimate threat to the United States at the time, Whitman wished to mend America's social and political demands through his poetry. Throughout Whitman’s works, the reader can evidently observe the widths and basis of his social and political philosophy and the layers of various circumstances that exist within his American culture – which is an essential part of his democratic vision. Many of Whitman's poems, including major works such as "Song of Myself," can be studied with this tidbit, but yet these elements can be witnessed within clumps of poems, or within groupings in the clusters. The main grouping that will be focused on is the "Sea-Drift" cluster, which is composed of the following poems: "As I Ebb'd with the Ocean of Life,", "Song for All Seas, All Ships," and "After the Sea-Ship." Combined, these works demonstrate a shift from an individualistic outlook to a mature democratic perspective. In "As I Ebb'd", Whitman is primarily concerned with his failure as a poet to recognize the elements of the world that are external to his self, i.e. the importance of one self. He states, Oppress'd with myself that I have dared to open my mouth, Aware now that amid all that blab whose echoes recoil upon me I have not once had the least idea who or what I am, But that before all my arrogant poems the real Me stands yet untouch'd, untold, altogether
Open Document