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Whitman with Nature

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  • December 2012
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“Song of Myself”
Arguable one of greatest works by Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”, contains 52 sections. It was published in 1855 and later expanded under “Leaves of Grass” poetry collection. The first section of the poem, “I celebrate myself, and sing myself”, consists of 4 stanzas and 13 lines. The major theme in this section is “All humans are from nature, thus we shall all return to nature”. Walt Whitman discusses the fact that all of us will reunite back to where we came from. In “Song of Myself” Whitman believed that nature could not be owned and was more important any human. Walt Whitman discusses the natural phenomena of life cycle in the poem. “I celebrate myself, and sing myself, –And what I assume you shall assume,” (lines 1-2). Whitman believed that nature was above all things. When this poem was written when America was changing as far as nature was concern.

The United States was growing and nature was being bought. During this time, the reconstruction era took place till 1877. During this time many events happened that really changed our ideas about nature and how we are to respect it as humans. These events show how our ideas of nature changed during this time. In 1867 Alaska was purchased from Russia for 7.2 million dollars. We started to buy nature during this period. Whitman was very concerned that when was purchased, nature that it might lose its freeness. Also during this time in 1866, Tennessee became the first state to rejoin the union after the Civil War. Also in 1866 the Civil Rights Act passed though Congress was mainly intended to protect the civil rights of African-Americans, in the wake of the American Civil War. During this time the ideas of nature fundamentally changed our ideas towards it. All of these events helped steer the central thought behind the poem. These events shaped Whitman’s attitude towards nature. These events I feel are what Whitman was challenging with this poem. The purchasing of Alaska really showed that man...

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