Walt Whitman's Song of Myself Essay

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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 in a way compares grass as a human society. He mentions that grass is “a uniform…show more content…
Another example of Whitman's comparison of grass to humans is when he says, “It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men, / It may be you are from old people, or from offspring taken,” (20, 21). Grasses all start out as a seed and will not grow unless its owner takes care of it. This can refer to humans as well since babies cannot take care of themselves and must rely on adults to grow and develop. This cycle of life is repeated for generations to come as seen in lines 23 and 24 where Whitman compares the growth of grass to that of a human child, “soon out of their mother's laps, / And here you are the mothers' laps”. As children once grew up with parents, in the near future, they themselves will become parents as well. In the middle of the poem, Whitman stops celebrating the joy of procreation and focuses more about the philosophy of death. Death is part of every day life and feared by many people. Whitman tells the child to not fear death because he says, “there really is no death” (38). He considers the grass that grows among the graves in the cemetery to be the “beautiful uncut hair of graves” (18). Even among death, Whitman considers life beautiful. He tells the child that even after a person “ceased” (41) to live, they still continue to live after death. What became
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