The Poem “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman
The theme of the fullness of life, to which the character aspires and which he sings as an integral component of earthly existence, is one of the main ones in the poem by Whitman. The poet speaks of his desire to leave his mark on the earth and encourages the reader to reflect: “My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air” (Whitman). The exciting tension that he raises creates the feeling that the narrator is ready to talk about his unity with nature, which gave life to him, his loved ones, and all other people. While mentioning the world’s dogmas and rules, the poet requires them to retreat, at least for a while, to let him enjoy the present moment and not distract him from contemplation and immersion in himself (Whitman). Thus, from the very beginning, the poem sets the reader on spirituality.
Another topic that intersects with the previous one and, at the same time, stands individually is the comparison of the perception of the world by the young and the old. Whitman asks the reader rhetorically, “how could I answer the child?” Despite the fact that the poet draws a line between consciousness at an early and late age, these words indicate that it is difficult for him to comprehend others’ ways of thinking. When referring to his age, the narrator claims to be 37 (Whitman). Although he is an adult, the incomprehension of the perception of the world by people at different stages disturbs him. He is already far from childhood, but it is too early for him to talk about old age. Therefore, the poet seeks answers to questions and states the following: “I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men and women” (Whitman). These concerns prompt him to reflect on human life and the transformation of consciousness at different stages.
Whitman, Walt. “Song of Myself.” Poetry Foundation, Web.