Walt Whitman - Song of Myself

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Walt Whitman has neither related his biography nor glorified himself in the poem as the title suggests. Infact, the apparent indication of the title is here of no importance. The poem is the song of celebration of every object of nature in general where a question put to the poet by a little child triggers off a philosophical trend of thought relating to death and the meaning of death. In the poem, he has celebrated his own idea (that nothing collapses due to death but instead life moves on) and imaginary power while showcasing his optimistic views on life

A little child questions the poet, "What is grass?" that sets his mind wondering when he has nor ready answer for the child's question and is unable to answer it. He muses that perhaps it's the flag of his disposition "out of hopeful green stuff woven," showing that his natural tendency is in fact to be optimistic and positive. Still not too sure, he continues to wonder if it is "the handkerchief of the Lord, a scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt" thus evoking a vivid image of God purposely dropping it while it bore "the owner's name someway in the corners" as a memento, to remind us "so that we may see and remark and say whose?" Once again he second guesses whether the "grass is itself a child, the produced babe of vegetation." The poet's individual imagination comes out distinctly in the above lines.

The poet then wonders whether the grass could be "a uniform hieroglyphic" which when deciphered means "sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones, growing among black folks as among white" which makes no distinction on regions or race. It signifies a common material that links disparate people all over the United States together, this grass which grows everywhere.

There is then, a sudden shift in thought as the grass suddenly seems to him to be "the beautiful uncut hair of graves." The mood now shifts to a mellow one as he states he will use the grass tenderly as he speculates if the...
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