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Walt Whitman's "song of Myself"

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Walt Whitman`s “Song of Myself”

The first collection of poems we read in this course was Walt Whitman`s “Song of Myself”.

This is one of my favorite collections of poems. It deals with individuality, the great outdoors, and the quest of one`s self. I enjoy this work so much, because it can relate with anyone. It deals with the layers of oneself and themes of friendship and identity.

Whitman is the master of imagery and symbolism. Over and over again Whitman uses “you”. He does this as a way for readers to connect and identify with him, yet he wants you to choose your own path as well. This allows me to feel connected to him, but also inspired to travel my own path. The journey is the main extended metaphor in the poem, which begins in the daytime and ends at night. The poem itself is a journey, and this is one of the reasons why "Song of Myself" is considered an epic, similar to other famous epics like the Odyssey and Beowulf. It is not a journey that a person could ever travel; instead, it's an imaginative journey in his mind and his soul. In the first section he writes, “I loafe and invite my soul”, so he is inviting his soul to go on this journey alongside him. I relate to this in that last summer I went on a real journey to Africa, and there I found that my soul and I were more connected than ever. I feel that Whitman has the same experiences with places that he travels. The most significant aspect of Whitman`s work is “self”. The self is composed of experiences, ideas, spiritual philosophies, and psychological states of mind. Whitman says that the self can be public and private; meaning that we have our self, the person who everyone else knows and our self that only we know. I think this is absolutely true; we all have a very intimate part of our selves that no one or only the people very closest to us know about and then the self that everyone knows. Whitman enjoys reaching into his inner soul, or self, and bringing it out to explore it and take it on a journey. I think that all people should do this, sure it sounds super foreign to most people, but I think it would make people more real. We would become more comfortable with our own selves that we would not have to have a great divide of the public and private self that we are composed of. I think that this is the major idea that Whitman was going after.

Whitman uses the theme of

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