February 18, 2013
Diagnostic Essay: Song of Myself
Life is a very delicate and mysterious process. Walt Whitman’s poem Song of Myself exhibits how life should be celebrated and enjoyed accordingly. His optimistic and carefree view of life is easily distinguished through his words. Whitman expressed a love of life as well as his easygoing mood when he composed this poem. Moreover, his writings are referring to enjoying life, the similarities between all living things, and enjoying life until death is upon him.
“I Celebrate myself, and sing myself, and what I assume you shall assume,” (Whitman 1-2) is the way he starts his poem, giving insight to the welcoming mood portrayed throughout Song of Myself. The act of singing in many cultures is a form of celebration and he is celebrating life through poetry. Although this seems very arrogant to celebrate oneself, he is merely enjoying life and the act of being alive. His ability to invite the reader in when he writes “and what I assume you shall assume” (2) makes the poem relatable to his audience as a whole. The mood is set for the rest of the poem to be read as merriment through the act of celebrating life.
Human beings are all created equally, meaning they have the same type of substances or building blocks to form said persons. “My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air. Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same.” (6-8) In a religious aspect, Christianity teaches that God created Adam and Eve from the soil and that we are all created in the image of God himself. In reference to this portion of the poem Whitman is referring to the similarities that all humans are alike. He is also affirming that no matter how different one might be from another, generation after generation, they are still crafted and conceived from a mother and father, making them equal.
“I, now thirty-seven years...