Walter Whitman is a well-known poet, essayist, and writer who is well-known in the world for his literary prowess. The poet was born in 1819, and during his lifetime, he earned many accolades and honors in recognition of the hard work he put into learning new things and giving literature a new look. The artist has been associated with a variety of works of art, with ‘Song of Me’ being one of the many works of art that have earned him worldwide acclaim and appreciation in the field of literature. Therefore, this paper seeks to assess the minute details exposed by the poem, while checking the themes, motifs and the characterization which Whitman tries to pass to his audience.
In the poem, ‘Song of Myself’ the author tends to change the topic, and the chronological flow of the poem cannot be easily established. The poem, Song of Myself, creation edited in 1881, provides the readers with a biography of the persona, the sermon and also is a perfect piece that can be described as poetic meditation. Greenspan notes that, even though the plot and the flow of the poem keep on changing after every line, the author instinctively points out main ideas before starting any other line (Greenspan, 36). The song starts and the persona, Walt Whitman, openly declares that he is going to celebrate all his doings in the poem. Walter further goes on to invite his soul to hang out while staring at glass blades. At this juncture, the narrator goes ahead to inform us of the affection that he holds for the earth (specifically nature). Whitman points out that he loves nature owing to the fact everything in it fits together just as it is supposed to be (Whitman, Walt, and Schmidgall, 117). The persona goes ahead to point out that according to him all things are perfect and no harm befalls an individual and eventually does not make way for something good. He, later on, compares nature to a well-built house with an architectural design that completely fits together.
The fascinating part of the poem is when he divides his personality into three minor parts. One of the evolved characters is the individual who involves himself with politics, the type of food to eat and the fashion trend to beat. Another personality he describes as the part of him that observes the world and just smiles. The third character that he describes is the one that is closely linked to him and feels it extremely as part of him (Adler et. al 34). The personality that he describes is the soul which he presumes is responsible for representing or concealing his innermost and deeper universal essence. Summing up the plot, the persona thinks that it is essential that individuals should base life teachings on experience rather that expecting to learn about life through books or teachers.
A deeper insight into the poem provides the audience with the deeper understanding of the soul of the narrator. It is at this point that the persona opens up on what he believes and what he is opposed to when it comes to the overall natural system. Walter is opposed to the individuals who have the notion that they spread the truth and he cites the example of the clergy. Additionally, he points out the feelings that he has of guilt and shame that holds for the body, and lastly, he sheds his thoughts on the aspects of judgments which are self-righteous. On the other hand, there are some doctrines which the author believes. He believes that each in the phase of the earth is equal and the slaves are no exception to this reality. As Greenspan states that, Walter finds that the truth is everywhere, but people fail to speak it out openly (Greenspan, 78). In the poem, the audience further notices that the writer has belief in the fact that each and every person in nature has a strong connection with each other that is unexplainable. Lastly, he advocates that people should have faith in the form in which nature is arranged, and each person should accept death because it is part of the order. All in all, the soft part of the narrator is that he thinks each is impressive and they should take pride in that fact.
In conclusion, it is evident that Walter Whitman is one of the pioneers of modern literature. The use of personal experiences, thoughts, and symbols serves to present the intended message to the audience faster. At this point, we get the notion of all the ideologies brought forth by Walter and check on the ways that they can be applied in this generation. The concepts of sexual orientation, the beliefs of nature and all other aspects are correctly described in this piece of art.
Adler, Mortimer J. The Great Ideas: A Lexicon of Western Thought. New York, NY: Scribner Classics, 1999. Print.
Adler, Mortimer J, and Max Weismann. How to Think About the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization. Chicago [u.a.: Open Court, 2001. Print.
Greenspan, Ezra. Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”: A Sourcebook and Critical Edition. New York: Routledge, 2005. Print.
Whitman, Walt, and Gary Schmidgall. Walt Whitman: Selected Poems, 1855-1892: a New Edition. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000. Print.