* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Song of Myself

Song of Myself

by Walt Whitman

Section 49 Summary

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

  • He addresses death and says, "What, you think I'm afraid of you?"
  • He compares death to a kind of birth. He watches someone's death from the "door" of life and watches the relief of someone passing through it.
  • He then expresses an idea that might make some people uncomfortable. People who have died and who have returned to the ground (been buried) make good fertilizer that leads to the growth of new life. He has no problem with this idea.
  • At any rate, he has been through death thousands of times before.
  • Remember that earlier in the poem he described the grass as growing out of the graves of dead people. He now revisits the same idea and repeats, "O grass of graves."
  • He describes the moon shining on an "autumn forest" and then raises himself to look at the moonbeams.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement