Walt Whitman had a way of reaching out to all people as if speaking directly to them. He accomplishes this by displaying love and adoration for himself, for others, and for his nation. Whitman believed in the union of each individuals own mind, body, and soul. He also believed in the union of the individual with others and the union of the individual with all living things in the universe. In Song of Myself individualism is an extensive theme throughout the work. “Immortality in Whitman’s Philosophy and Art” makes the statement “His poetry sought to present the highest form of American ideals, purified of the strife that was dividing the American community” (Devardhi and Deepika). The American dream of democracy resonates throughout Whitman’s writings in conjunction with his belief that all life of every race, religion, or sex are equal. In Song of Myself section 24, Whitman is expressing his belief in self-divinity and self-love “through me the afflatus surging and surging through me the current and index.” Later in the same section Whitman makes another reference to the divinity of the
Walt Whitman was part of the transcendentalism era and was one of the greatest American poet and journalist of his time. He was born on May 31, 1819 in New York. Having a large family his father and mother did not have time to read his starting work or pay much attention to him for that matter. Walt went out of his wat to drop out of school to help his family. He taught in many schools and after teaching, he returned to printing and editing in New York. During this time, he edited many papers such as the daily newspaper. In addition to editing, he also wrote for the Long Island Star. His success story has inspired many and had unfolded the truths of romanticism and transcendentalism.
In “Song of Myself” Whitman attempts to speak on behalf of the entire American population. He tries to pull the reader into a world of many possibilities. Whitman makes a
In stanza six of the poem "Song of Myself", by Walt Whitman, he poses the question "What is the grass?" I believe that grass is a metaphor for the cycle of life. Throughout the poem Whitman points out images that grass could represent. All of these images stem from the life and death that we come to expect in our lifetime. During your life you will experience death, it at times surrounds you, but if you look past the grief and look to the beauty you will see that it is a cycle that keeps our world in balance. The images of flags, tears, children and older people that are torn from the ones they love, but only to soon return to other lost ones are all parts of Walt Whitman's
After the Civil War, Walt Whitman realized that the American people were in need of their own identity. Therefore, he wrote the book “Leaves of Grass” with the goal of creating a literature piece that was authentic and organic to the United States in every sense. Whitman introduced to literature the idea of the “American Dream” and highlighted how important it was for the American people to develop their own identity. Consequently, he rejected the European writing styles and adapted the use of free-verses to his writing, making it a popular writing style in American poetry. Whitman valued of humanity, nature and spirituality. Therefore, he joined the Transcendental literary movement and
Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" is a vision of the American spirit, a vision of Whitman himself. It is his cry for democracy, giving each of us a voice through his poetry. Each of us has a voice and desires, and this is Whitman's representation of our voices, the voice of America. America, the great melting pot, was founded for freedom and democracy, and this poem is his way of re-instilling these lost American ideals. In this passage from "Song of Myself" Whitman speaks through his fellow man and speaks for his fellow man when his voice is not socially acceptable to be heard.
Walt Whitman, a democratic poet, celebrated himself and his connection with the world by writing “Song of Myself” in 1855. According to Eric Forsythe, “Throughout the poem, Whitman probes the question of how large the new democratic self can become before it dissipates into contradiction and fragmentation, and each time he seems to reach the limit, he dilates even more” (Forsythe). The poem shaped the idea of what it meant to be an American, by bringing citizens together. It also foreshadowed the Civil War, which began in 1861, through a symbol of grass. In “Song of Myself,” Whitman’s themes of individualism and carpe diem developed from the transcendentalist movement.
The philosophy of Transcendentalism, according to the article “Transcendentalism, An American Philosophy” is believed to have been created and led by Ralph Waldo Emerson, which is why he is considered by many literary scholars and historians to be the father of Transcendentalism. Throughout the years, this philosophy attracted other artists and thinkers such as the American Romantic novelist Henry David Thoreau. These prominent and poetic individuals created an insight for this movement, believing in the true and significant values of individualism, minimalism, and spirituality in their lives. These specific aspects can be found in Thoreau’s most famous work, and Transcendentalist staple, Walden. This novel was a reminiscence of his life
In one of the sections from the poem, “Song of Myself” Walt Whitman starts out with a child asking a question, “What is the grass?” Grass is a symbol of life. God, who created both the heavens and the earth also gave birth to life. When Whitman refers to grass as a “handkerchief of the Lord” (7), as a gift. When people look at the grass, they do not think of it as a creation but rather just a plant. Whitman refers to the grass as “a child, the produced babe of vegetation” (11, 12). Here, the grass is a metaphor for the birth of a child. In often cases, the birth of anything is celebrated because it symbolizes a new life, a new beginning.
Whitman wrote broad stanzas and focused on the whole of America as his inspiration. His lines covered a wide range of topics and generated multiple points of view for the reader. He called his life’s work “Leaves of Grass”; stressing the
During the 19th century, Walt Whitman revealed America as precariously perched between becoming a successful “teeming nation of nations” and increasing into divisibility, fractured by resistance to the very diversity that could have been a source of power (Mancinelli, 3). Throughout Whitman’s writing, he has celebrated and elaborated upon the human spirit, soul, and body. He has sung the attributes of a democracy throughout his literature. As America was growing around him, his poetic structures imply his democratic ideals. In Walt Whitman’s famous “Song of Myself” he touches on three important themes
In his first anthology of poems entitled “Song of Myself”, Walt Whitman reveals some of his views on democracy through the use of symbolism and free verse poetry. His use of symbolism and free verse poetry creates indeterminacy, giving the reader hints rather than answers about the nature of the poem. In the sixth part of “Song of Myself”, a child asks the narrator of the poem, “What is the grass?” (Whitman). Instead of simply giving an answer, the narrator cannot make up his mind, and stumbles on how to explain the grass to the child. Through the use of specific symbolisms, Whitman, as the narrator, explicates his views while remaining under the façade of explaining grass to the child. The views Whitman conveys remain indeterminate and
Walt Whitman explores individualism by looking through all of the diversity within America and identifying that people are different and have come from many different backgrounds. However, we are all one in the same due to the connection of being American. He does this because he wants to maintain his individual “self-hood” while finding a place within America, a happy medium. The role of the individual in this piece of work Whitman states is “one of the Nation of many Nations, the smallest the same and the largest the same,” which means everyone has a different background and have all come from many places far away, but are still apart of America nonetheless. This is what brings us together. In the opening section of Song of Myself Whitman starts by saying all human beings are the same, “And what I assume you shall assume, for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” I believe this is Whitman’s attempt at trying to merge his own self into society, while maintaining his “self-hood.”
From looking at the titles of Walt Whitman's vast collection of poetry in Leaves of Grass one would be able to surmise that the great American poet wrote about many subjects -- expressing his ideas and thoughts about everything from religion to Abraham Lincoln. Quite the opposite is true, Walt Whitman wrote only about a single subject which was so powerful in the mind of the poet that it consumed him to the point that whatever he wrote echoed of that subject. The beliefs and tenets of transcendentalism were the subjects that caused Whitman to write and carried through not only in the wording and imagery of his poems, but also in the revolutionary way that he chose to write his poetry.
Walt Whitman, a civil war nurse was a self-taught poet in the 1800s. Whitman is known for using lists, anaphora, free verse, and other literary devices in his poems. In his works, he focuses on American workers, diversity, transcendent approaches to nature, and individualism. “Song of Myself,” a poem written by Whitman, explores themes of nature, sex, democracy, and spirituality. Whitman uses nature to fuel his creativity in using grass as a symbol of comparison to life by using imagery, metaphors, and analogies.