Blog 17

My initial impression of “Song of Myself” was “wow, I hate it.” I felt like he was just redoing the same thing that all of the transcendentalists do where they talk about nature being pretty and how you need to be good. I really do not like the idea of transcendentalism, it just seems like a very hippie thing with the whole “nature is beautiful” “spread love and peace” vibes. Honestly, the reason that I dislike transcendentalism may just be because I do not fully understand it, but I also do not think that anyone can fully understand it without going through it 100%. The sections that my group was assigned were sections 52 and 52. Those sections were rough. I did not really understand it the first couple times I read through it, and even now there are still some parts that confuse me. Whitman’s devotion to Transcendentalist philosophy affected his writing because that is literally what this very long poem is about. He talks excessively about nature and doing good throughout this “Song of Myself.” I feel like most of his writing is about this as well because transcendentalism is supposed to take over your entire life so it would be wrong if it did not. The most important lines, in my opinion, from our section are where he says “Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself,” and “The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he complains of my gab and my loitering.” They are important in developing the theme or conveying meaning because when he says he is contradicting himself he is saying that when he was asking God all of the questions right before that line, he is contradicting himself when he said that you can not just ask God those questions. He knows that he needs to find the answers to those questions himself, yet he is still asking them. When he talks about the hawk complaining about his “gab” and “loitering” he is joking about how long the poem is. He is saying that the hawk, or nature, is tired of him talking and wasting time. This is the end of the poem and was written very close to his death so he is most likely saying that nature is just ready for him to die already. There are a lot of difficulties that I had with this work. My number one difficulty would probably be that I hate it.

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