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Song of Myself

Song of Myself

by Walt Whitman

Section 35 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

  • Having just described a bitter defeat, Whitman now relates a victory at sea against the British, perhaps from the War of 1812.
  • Whitman talks as if he were on the boat, even though he was never in the Navy. He's just playing another character, putting himself in another's shoes.
  • The ship starts taking on water, and the British captain asks if the Americans want to surrender.
  • The American captain's response is, essentially, heck no! Somehow the bravery of the captain inspires his men to victory. By midnight the British have surrendered under the moon.

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