I’m a little late on this. Story of my life.
My initial thoughts on the work weren’t really much, but if I had to dig into the reality of it, I’d say it was quite an ambitious project for Walt, considering the length of it, the relevance of it to himself and his philosophy, and the amount of time he actually spent not only writing it but trying to apply his ideals within to his lifestyle and evolve along with this poem.
As far as the sections we were given, being the third and the ninth, I had little to initially conclude seeing as they initially made little sense to me. Still, at this very moment, I do not remember much about what they mean, so I will have to consult my notes to even attempt to satisfy your query.
So in review, section 3 started off mentioning how people were concerned with past and future events but did not concern themselves with the present, the only time which they have direct control of. Walt, being a man bent on self and societal improvement made it very clear through his own examples that others ought to also focus on what they can manipulate in the present day. He went on to talk about how he upholds views of gender equality despite society’s hardline opposition to this belief, backing it up by presenting the plain fact that man and womankind are absolutely necessary to the advancement of a people.
Advancing through the section, he stated how “Not an inch nor a particle of an inch is vile” speaking of himself. Only a transcendentalist would say such a thing, as most today would regard their being as comprised of parts with good and evil intent; good and bad influences domestic to the body. Walt would have argued this was purely a result of a corrupted society. This doesn’t make logical sense, but so be it. It is the work.
He said his dreams led him to realize what steps he could take to better himself, and he was left with a predicament as to focus on these current steps or be distracted wondering what he could be.
Some lines that stand out among the rest are
“Shall I postpone my acceptation and realization and scream at my
That they turn from gazing after and down the road,
And forthwith cipher and show me to a cent,
Exactly the value of one and exactly the value of two, and which is
This question is what I just covered, and it stood out to me because it feels like a familiar struggle to continue working when you want to reevaluate what it is you’re working towards.
Difficulty? Yes, almost everything about reading and interpreting this work was hard, and when I finish the test based on it, I’ll crack open an iced tea and be glad I’m done with it. You should also crack open a tea once you’re done grading the mess that is my interpretation of the poem.