Song of Myself Initial Thoughts

While reading Song of Myself, I was annoyed at first. Not because I couldn’t read it, but because I couldn’t understand it. Song of Myself uses such a higher up or more sophisticated way of talk, and words didn’t have the same common day meaning. For example, we were assigned (Me, John, and Michael) section 3, and in about the 4 stanzas down it reads, “Sure as the most certain sure, plumb in the uprights, well entretied, braced in the beams, Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, electrical,
I and this mystery here we stand.” When I first read this I was so confused because he goes from talking about plumb in the uprights, well entretied, braced in the beams. All of those words have relatively the same meaning, they all mean sturdiness. When he continues talking about stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, and electrical, he refers to the horse as being healthy, affectionate to emotional, haughty as in superior, and electrical to energetic. So everyday words now don’t have the same meaning as before. While writing this, there is a heavy influence on what he’s writing from his devotion to a transcendentalist philosophy. The whole poem is about him becoming a better person physically and spiritually, so a lot of the writing is heavily influenced by the philosophy. One of the most important parts from section 3 is the very first stanza, “I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the beginning and the end, but I do not talk of the beginning of the end.” The meaning behind this stanza is the talkers, or society all talk about life and death the beginning and the end, but they never talk about now, what’s happening in the present. Another important part of the poem would be a stanza 7 when he talks about the human body is familiar with itself. “Welcome is every organ and attribute of me, and of any man hearty and clean, Not an inch nor a particle of an inch is vile, and none shall be less familiar than the rest.” What he’s saying in this part of the poem is that every organ of any man is clean and ready to work properly, not an inch of the human body is vile or bad, and non shall be less familiar with the rest, or the body works around each other, if one part is missing the whole system fails an we die. So basically at the beginning of the poem, it was hard to understand which made it frustrating but after we went over it and explained it in more simplified words the poem was actually pretty cool and had a deep meaning to life and becoming a better person in general, which was pretty cool.