An analysis of the structure of walt whitmans song of myself

The division of the free-flowing untitled poem into fifty-two numbered sections, like the addition and subsequent revision of the title, proves more significant, for this overt structuring appears to add a sense of order and progression that the poem originally seemed to lack.

In this section a woman watches An analysis of the structure of walt whitmans song of myself young men bathing in the ocean. Whitman uses small, precisely drawn scenes to do his work here. In the early nineteenth century, people still harbored many doubts about whether the United States could survive as a country and about whether democracy could thrive as a political system.

Or, Life in the WoodsWhitman situates himself and his poem outdoors and therefore outside convention and tradition; and, like Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay NatureWhitman deliberately conflates natural world and poetical word, leaf of grass and Leaves of Grass.

InWhitman published an edition of Leaves of Grass that included a number of poems celebrating love between men. It is this conviction of the shared divinity of the self that enables the persona repeatedly to identify and empathize with other human beings, as in section The self comprises ideas, experiences, psychological states, and spiritual insights.

She fantasizes about joining them unseen, and describes their semi-nude bodies in some detail. Elsewhere the speaker of that exuberant poem identifies himself as Walt Whitman and claims that, through him, the voices of many will speak. He imagined democracy as a way of interpersonal interaction and as a way for individuals to integrate their beliefs into their everyday lives.

The first of these is found in the sixth section of the poem. To Whitman, the self is both individual and universal. As a way of dealing with both the population growth and the massive deaths during the Civil War, Whitman focused on the life cycles of individuals: Sexual union is a figurative anticipation of spiritual union.

In his poetry, Whitman widened the possibilities of poeticdiction by including slang, colloquialisms, and regional dialects, rather than employing the stiff, erudite language so often found in nineteenth-century verse.

Not until the seventh edition of Leaves of Grass, published indid the poem undergo its final metamorphosis in name as well as form. At some points he seems to slip into a traditional use of stresses and beats, as in this phrase from Section 1: Motifs Lists Whitman filled his poetry with long lists.

Technical terms in poetry can be overrated. Whitman simply used stanzas of varying length and changed from topic to topic without warning. But they also signify a common material that links disparate people all over the United States together: Later in this section, the speaker also lists the different types of voices who speak through Whitman.

Finally, the self merges with everything in the world yet also stands aloof and apart from the world. The lavish eroticism of this section reinforces this idea: Colloquial words unite the natural with the spiritual, and therefore he uses many colloquial expressions.

This is not to say that the text was formless, or that structure is something Whitman arbitrarily imposed.

Song of Myself Summary

Rather than trying to find a linear progression of themes, it is perhaps more useful to think of each of the fifty-two sections as spokes of a wheel, each expressing the same theme or similar themes in diverse ways, from diverse angles.

Like most of the other poems, it too was revised extensively, reaching its final permutation in Often a sentence will be broken into many clauses, separated by commas, and each clause will describe some scene, person, or object. Describing the life cycle of nature helped Whitman contextualize the severe injuries and trauma he witnessed during the Civil War—linking death to life helped give the deaths of so many soldiers meaning.

Themes Democracy As a Way of Life Whitman envisioned democracy not just as a political system but as a way of experiencing the world. More than anything, the yawp is an invitation to the next Walt Whitman, to read into the yawp, to have a sympathetic experience, to absorb it as part of a new multitude.

Lists are another way of demonstrating democracy in action: Even the most commonplace objects, such as Leaves, ants, and stones, contain the infinite universe.

Song of Myself Analysis

Other critics prefer not to use the term "free verse," arguing that Whitman borrows forms and styles from all over the place. Everyone must die eventually, and so the natural roots of democracy are therefore in mortality, whether due to natural causes or to the bloodshed of internecine warfare.

The freedom Whitman takes evidences itself not only in his language and intimate mode of address, but in his very posture as well. The speaker uses multiple adjectives to demonstrate the complexity of the individual: Whitman links the self to the conception of poetry throughout his work, envisioning the self as the birthplace of poetry.

Often, Whitman begins several lines in a row with the same word or phrase, a literary device called anaphora. Several poems praise the bodies of both women and men, describing them at work, at play, and interacting.In the edition of "Song of Myself," he divided the poem into 52 sections, and we use these sections to make it easier to refer to specific parts of this very long poem.

These sections often center on a specific topic or vignette (mini. Whitman uses the metaphor of grass in the sixth section of “Songs of Myself” to try and explain the democratic self. His explanation, he admits, is incomplete. Whitman describes a child coming to him and asking him what is the grass.

Whitman changed the title to "Song of Myself" in The changes in the title are significant in indicating the growth of the meaning of the poem. There are three important themes: the idea of the self, the identification of the self with other selves, and the poet's relationship with the elements of nature and the universe.

An Annotation of Section 24 of Walt Whitman's Song of Myself Words | 6 Pages. Section 24 of Walt Whitman's Song of Myself Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" is a vision of the American spirit, a vision of Whitman himself.

It is his cry for democracy, giving each of us a voice through his poetry. In “Song of Myself,” for example, the speaker lists several adjectives to describe Walt Whitman in section The speaker uses multiple adjectives to demonstrate the complexity of the individual: true individuals cannot be.

Video: Song of Myself by Walt Whitman: Summary, Themes & Analysis Walt Whitman's 'Song of Myself' is one of the most important poems in the American canon, important for both its use of language and its vision of equality.

Download
An analysis of the structure of walt whitmans song of myself
Rated 5/5 based on 75 review