Song of Myself by Walt Whitman

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“I celebrate myself, and sing myself / and what I shall assume you shall assume” (Whitman 1-2). These lines not only open up the beginning of one the best poems of the American Romantic period, but they also represent a prominent theme of one of this period’s best poet, Walt Whitman. In Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, Whitman deals with his time period’s most prominent theme of democracy. Whitman tells readers that they must not only observe the democratic life but they must become one with it. As Whitman states, “For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you” (3). Democracy provides a connection with all people. It is as if Joseph Stella felt this connection and decided to depict it in his collection of paintings entitled “Americans in the Rough.” The individual is of no greater or lesser worth than anyone else. Beatrice Marovich states that, “It is a song for fellow Americans, about the American body politic” (349). An analysis of Song of Myself portrays that understanding and becoming one with democracy through political collectivity essentially sets the stage for the American democratic self. Joseph Stella does a great job of interpreting and depicting Whitman’s ideals of democracy through his illustrations representing every facet of an American democratic life.
Joseph Stella is regarded is one of America’s great artist of today. “With his unique cultural and personal characteristics he not only enriched the American heritage but made a significant and lasting

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