In the beginning of “Song of Myself”, Whitman in a sense begins to speak of wanting everyone to be “one”. In the poem he says
My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air
Born here of parents born here from parents the same,
I, now thirty seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death (Whitman 1. 1 6-9)
My interpretation of this verse is that he imagines people within the US being influenced and created by the values and essence of the country. In the second line, he mentions many of the traditional values that the United States already have history of. This country values the storybook families, where your grandparents lived and worked here, and the next generations follow. Obviously ideas about the United States today have changed, and so has the “original vision”. Today the country is way more diverse and new traditional standards are being set and becoming the norm. The last line in this verse is most interesting where he has ideals of Americans living longer. It is interesting that he mentions the age 37 an age to be worried about being in great health. Oddly, this seems like a pretty young age, but commonly people are living longer today because of better health care.
Has any one supposed it lucky to be born?
I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know it.
I pass death with me dying and birth with the new wash’d babe, and am not contain’d between my hat and boots,
And peruse manifold objects, no two alike and every one good,
The earth good and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good
I am not an earth or adjunct of an earth,
I am the mate and companion of people, all just as immortal and fathomless as myself
(They do not know how immortal, but I know) (Whitman l.7 1-9)
From this verse, I interpret that Whitman sees the US as a religious country. The second line could imply a passage of Christianity. He then continues on in hopes not have a...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document