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Song of Myself

My initial reaction to the work was confusion. I knew he was talking about grass and himself but he was using some weird symbols that I didn’t automatically make connections to. This is why I don’t like analyzing poetry. My initial thoughts on our sections was that this man loves grass and dead people. In section six he talked a lot about his love for society (represented by grass of course) and how everyone is equal and amazing. Ehhh…. He also talked a lot about dead people being amazing and how death isn’t all that bad and that we should embrace it. He talks about society being equal and growing everywhere. He also talks about how everything eventually leads back to death (and what grows over graves- grass). He even recognizes that he will one day be buried and covered by the grass. He thinks dead people are never really dead, that they still have a lot to say after death and they won’t be forgotten. Section 17 starts with him saying that the thoughts in this poem are not originally his and that we should recognize that people before him also had these ideas. He really encourages the reader to analyze the poem and actually use it to better themselves. And he finishes section 17 by concluding that we’re all equal and that grass grows everywhere and we all share the same air. Whitman’s devotion to¬† transcendentalist philosophy showed in his writing that he is a true optimist. He talks about how amazing people are and how great society is and he encourages everyone to be just as open as him. He looks at the good side of everything- even death. The most important line (in my opinion) from section 6 is “And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.” I this line he thinks people should not fear death and instead celebrate it and consider the dead lucky. The most important line from section 17 (again, in my opinion) is “This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is,” which is Whitman saying that society is equal and grows everywhere. My difficulties with this work was when he was talking about the dead people talking, I didn’t quite understand why he harped on that so much.


• March 8, 2019

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