Browse over 20 million
homework answers & study documents

Walt Whitman and his role in the poem “Song of myself”

Type

Study Guide

Rating

Showing Page:
1/5
Insert Surname Here 1
Name:
Instructor:
Course:
Date:
Walt Whitman and his role in the poem “Song of myself”
Walt Whitman was born in May 31, 1819 in West Hill New York. He was a journalist and a poet,
a second born among eight children. His father was a farmer, a real estate speculator, and a carpenter
and his family was brought up of modest means (Folsom and Kenneth, 289). Whitman’s love for
America and democracy, was mainly influenced by his parents who decided to name their children after
the American’s most influential, and most effective leaders of that time. Some of his siblings were
named after George Washington, Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson.
When Whitman’s father relocated to Brooklyn, he made some bad investments and at some
point he was not able to support the family. This forced Whitman’s father to pull him out of school, so
he could work to support their family when Walt Whitman was just eleven years old. However, Walt was
able to get a job in the printing industry (Allen, Gay pg48). He was also a humanitarian a virtue that
could have been borrowed from his modest family, work as a clerk in the government sector and also
did voluntary work as a nurse during the civil war in America.
At the age of seventeen, Walt Whitman resulted into teaching and taught for five years. This led
to his interest in journalism. He first started writing a weekly newspaper the Long Islander, then the New
York City until he finally became an editor of a prominent newspaper called the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(Lee, 273).
Whitman’s collection of “Leaves of Grass” was first published in 1855 which is now referred to
as “Song of Myself”. It could be the most influential poem as it ensures that there is a major

Sign up to view the full document!

lock_open Sign Up
Insert Surname Here 2
breakthrough from the past traditions to present cultures and practices. Whitmans poem is of no
regular form or rhythm. The lines are rhythmic making the whole poem to be fun and interesting to read
out loud.
Leaving school at a young age of eleven was unfortunate for Whitman, but this did not stop him
from being a great poet and journalism of his time. He learnt most of what a professional poet could
learn through reading and understanding great poetic individuals like Shakespeare and many other
classic. In his collection and specifically the “Song of Myself” brings out self-reliance. This is someone
who left school involuntarily to work and support his family. His self-acquired skills show how much self-
reliance meant to him thus leading to him writing bout self-reliance in his collection.
The democratic part of “Song of Myself” is purely from his parents love for individuals that
represented democracy in their time. His father was so much fascinated by the direction the democrats
were stirring the country to the extent of naming some of his children after them. This includes
individuals like George Washington and Andrew Jackson. Also, the fact that the poem was written in the
age of the civil war may be another reason Whitman’s democratic passion is portrayed in his collection.
He was so much into democracy which he later on represented in in poetry hence acquiring his
nickname, “The Bard of Democracy”.
“Song of Myself” had various ideologies and one of them was religion. To Whitman, there was
no religion that was better than another; hence he deeply practiced deism which led to his writing about
spiritual movements of that time. He also raised concerns over the slavery extending in America and
strongly advocated for the abolition of the slave trade and slavery through his poems (Folsom and
Kenneth, 78). On a general note, the collection of Whitman’s poetry was very much diverse and clearly
shows the need for reforms and change. To him, there were many inhuman issues that did not appear

Sign up to view the full document!

lock_open Sign Up

Sign up to view the full document!

lock_open Sign Up

Anonymous
I was on a very tight deadline but thanks to Studypool I was able to deliver my assignment on time.

Anonymous
I did not know how to approach this question, Studypool helped me a lot.

Anonymous
Very good notes! They were very useful as my study guides.

Studypool
4.7
Trustpilot
4.5
Sitejabber
4.4