Song of Myself

My initial impression of the poem “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman was that it was a very interesting poem. I originally thought it was only the page that we read in class but after I searched it up I realized it was over 100 pages. I think there is a lot to learn from the poem if you analyze every line, but it could be interpreted in many ways if you just read through once, only looking at what’s on the surface. My initial thoughts on the sections I got are pretty positive. Our group was assigned sections three, four and six. I think they aren’t going to be that hard to analyze and find the true meaning of. I think Whitman’s philosophy on transcendentalism affects his writing by forcing him to express his opinions and write in a way that sounds like it’s telling his readers what to do, rather than advising them on what they should try to fix. I feel like transcendentalism could be very opinionated and one-sided. Since transcendentalism is basically teaching people how to “transcend” it could be taken in very many different ways. Some people could think that certain actions cause you to transcend and others may disagree. I think the most important line from section three is “There was never any more inception than there is now.” I think this line is talking about doing things in the moment rather than pushing them off until later. Basically, he’s talking about procrastinating and how it is not a good thing. If you want to follow transcendentalism and transcend you shouldn’t procrastinate. Some difficulties I am experiencing with this work are the language he uses. Many of the words he uses are very complicated and hard to understand. But not only are the words complicated, most of the time the words have multiple meanings that aren’t very clear to see. For example, the word “atom” that Whitman uses in the first section of the work doesn’t only mean the basic building blocks of cells, he uses it because it sounds like “Adam” when spoken aloud. This then ties into Adam and Eve which also related to the meaning that everyone is connected.

 

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