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Song of Myself
Song of Myself
by Walt Whitman

Song of Myself Analysis

Symbolism, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

Free Verse?Whitman's particular style of writing has come to be known as "free verse," but not everyone agrees with this term. The term "free verse" was popularized by 20th century poets like Will...

Speaker

Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" has the craziest speaker situation in any poem we know of, so bear with us here. At Shmoop, we usually don't refer to the speaker of a poem by the author's name, but...

Setting

"Song of Myself' is set in too many locations to name. At the same time, you could argue that the speaker goes to all of these places without moving anywhere at all. He just wants to "loafe" and lo...

Sound Check

 If the speaker wasn't ambivalent about priests, preachers, and clergymen, we'd think he was a preacher himself. The poem sounds like a really long, deeply passionate sermon, and the audience...

What's Up With the Title?

If Whitman were in a relationship with "titles" for "Song of Myself" on Facebook, the status would read, "It's complicated." In the first, historic edition of Leaves of Grass from 1855, the poem ha...

Calling Card

Catalogues!Wait, what's a catalogue? In poetry, catalogue is just a list of stuff. It could even be a grocery list, provided you've got especially poetic groceries. "Song of Myself" is the ultimate...

Tough-o-Meter

(5) Tree LineWalt Whitman is an accessible poet. Everyone can, and should, read Whitman. There's something about his poetic tone that is so reassuring that it's hard to be intimidated by him. Plus,...

Trivia

Walt Whitman was a bigger self-promoter than Don King (boxing reference…anyone? Anyone?). After Leaves of Grass was published, he wrote anonymous reviews of his own collection, including one in w...

Steaminess Rating

RWhitman was completely unashamed about human eroticism and sexuality, at least when he first published the poem in 1855. He thought sex was natural, and not something to giggle or blush about. "So...

Allusions

Literary and Philosophical ReferencesRalph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance" (section 2)Crucifixion of Jesus Christ (section 38)World Religions: Greek myth, Hinduism, Islam, Brahmism, Mayan (section 4...

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