Read Song of Myself by Walt Whitman Free Online
Book Title: Song of Myself|
The author of the book: Walt Whitman
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 637 KB
Date of issue: January 1st 2006
ISBN 13: 9781420927061
Read full description of the books Song of Myself:Well, one thing I gathered from this poem is that Walt Whitman loves himself, and he loves America. To his mind, America is everything; it is freedom; it is democracy; it is happiness, and, again, according to him, it is the most poetic place on Earth. Through this he is trying to establish a unified America, and a mind-set that is distinctively American. After the civil war he wanted the nation to identify themselves with these ideals and to break from the past, as seen by his personal breaking of the rules of regular metre, form and rhyme. His poetry is an individual statement that stands against the poetry that came before it. He wanted perpetual peace and friendship with his American brothers, so he tried to create a unified vision of a perfect America through poetry. You can’t blame him for trying.
The poem is incredibly liberal for the time. Whitman establishes his voice against slavery, and attests that all men are equal; he further argues that men and women are the same. Poetry can be enjoyed by both, his attempt is aimed at both sexes; therefore, they are equal in everything. This is his personal message, and he is trying to spread it through these verses. It is clearly his intent for this to blossom and grow; thus, being permanently established in the American psyche. Though, that being said, not everyone thinks the same. Not everybody appreciated Whitman’s ideas at the time. Then there is the entire separate issue of homoeroticism within his verse; he just seems to have eroticised the working man, but not the woman.
I am the poet of slaves and of the masters of slaves
I am the poet of the body
And I am
I am the poet of the body
And I am the poet of the soul
I go with the slaves of the earth equally with the masters
And I will stand between the masters and the slaves,
Entering into both so that both shall understand me alike
I am the poet of Strength and Hope
This was quite interesting to read, but part of me feels like I have to be American to fully appreciate it. Whitman addresses an American audience, and if you’re not American, some of its affect is lost. He is trying to establish a bond of unity and, again, if you’re not part of that bond; its message goes a little over your head. I also think his ideas regarding religion are a little naïve. He spurns prayer and reverence of a higher entity; he almost characterises himself as a prophet, which is incredibly arrogant and annoying as well. Whilst I appreciate this work, and its literary merit, this is not a writer I’d choose to explore further.
Read information about the authorWalter Whitman was an American poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist. He was a part of the transition between Transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse.
Born on Long Island, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, and a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War in addition to publishing his poetry. Early in his career, he also produced a temperance novel, Franklin Evans (1842).
After working as clerk, teacher, journalist and laborer, Whitman wrote his masterpiece, Leaves of Grass, pioneering free verse poetry in a humanistic celebration of humanity, in 1855. Emerson, whom Whitman revered, said of Leaves of Grass that it held "incomparable things incomparably said." During the Civil War, Whitman worked as an army nurse, later writing Drum Taps (1865) and Memoranda During the War (1867). His health compromised by the experience, he was given work at the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C. After a stroke in 1873, which left him partially paralyzed, Whitman lived his next 20 years with his brother, writing mainly prose, such as Democratic Vistas (1870). Leaves of Grass was published in nine editions, with Whitman elaborating on it in each successive edition. In 1881, the book had the compliment of being banned by the commonwealth of Massachusetts on charges of immorality. A good friend of Robert Ingersoll, Whitman was at most a Deist who scorned religion. D. 1892.
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