Essay On Explication Of ‘song Of Myself’ By Walt Whitman

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Poem, Poetry, Literature, World, Importance, Identity, Rhythm, Mood

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/11/17

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The poem I chose is an excerpt from Walt Whitman’s epic poem ‘Song of Myself’. Written in 1855, Whitman edited the poem many times but retained the original meaning intended. The poem was written just before the American civil war. The poem though set way back in the past; is a timeless piece as it touches on the need for all humanity to embrace their importance in this world. Whitman’s poem is about a celebration of self and is a call of pride, boldly urging each person to self-search and embrace who they are and appreciate self-identity.
The poem was written at a time when the word was gaining new knowledge about nature, the earth, the solar system and new developments in science. The earth, which was previously thought to be so mighty and glorious, was reduced to a small detail in the solar system, moving alongside other elements of the system and tiny in size compared to others. This new knowledge may have left humans feeling like they were tiny details in an already small world. Walt Whitman’s poem therefore seeks to self-redeem by glorifying one’s importance and trying to find usefulness in this earth. It transcends this time and put significance in everyone’s role as part of the universe.
Whitman brings out his message of appreciating self-identity, in rich in language and style. To begin with, the poem is written in free verse, embracing no particular fashion or rhyme patterns, perhaps to bring out the freedom there in in exploring and appreciating self-identity and worth. The free verse brings out the celebratory mood in the poem. Reading through the poem gives one this smooth sail into the freedom who we are.
The poem is rich in rhythm, achieving this through repetition of ‘I’ and ‘my’. The rhythm is also achieved through the use of long end-stop lines that take the reader through a long breathless reading of a line then a pause. This is repeated throughout this chosen stanza, making the poem musical. This tactful use of the rhythm that makes the poem almost have a danceable tune, adds to the celebratory mood of the poem; a celebration of self.
The repetition in the poem also draws emphasis to the celebration self. Whitman employs ‘I’ and ‘my’ in this poem, drawing attention to him, his self-importance and ego. It however, does not negatively bring out his ego; instead, it portrays him as being confident and convinced of his important role and position as part of this earth. This ignites that desire in the reader to also appreciate their importance and seek to find their identity.
The mood of the poem is celebratory. Whitman makes one desire to celebrate their position and presence in the world. His choice of words portrays his confidence in himself and the importance of self-identity. ‘I celebrate myself, and sing myself’ are a clear indication of his intentions in writing the poem. The musical rhythm of the poem also adds to the celebratory mood. Alliteration like in the line, ‘I lean and loaf,’ adds to the rhythm of the poem and the celebratory mood. The persona celebrates himself by emphasizing his right to exist here, and his rightly earned position; “My tongue, every atom of my blood, formed from this soil, this air/Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same.”

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WePapers. (2020, November, 17) Essay On Explication Of ‘song Of Myself’ By Walt Whitman. Retrieved July 30, 2021, from
"Essay On Explication Of ‘song Of Myself’ By Walt Whitman." WePapers, 17 Nov. 2020, Accessed 30 July 2021.
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WePapers. Essay On Explication Of ‘song Of Myself’ By Walt Whitman. [Internet]. November 2020. [Accessed July 30, 2021]. Available from:
"Essay On Explication Of ‘song Of Myself’ By Walt Whitman." WePapers, Nov 17, 2020. Accessed July 30, 2021.
WePapers. 2020. "Essay On Explication Of ‘song Of Myself’ By Walt Whitman." Free Essay Examples - Retrieved July 30, 2021. (
"Essay On Explication Of ‘song Of Myself’ By Walt Whitman," Free Essay Examples -, 17-Nov-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 30-Jul-2021].
Essay On Explication Of ‘song Of Myself’ By Walt Whitman. Free Essay Examples - Published Nov 17, 2020. Accessed July 30, 2021.

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