Study Guide

Song of Myself Section 37

By Walt Whitman

Section 37

  • Just at the point when Whitman's tone becomes uncharacteristically sad, he cries out that his "fit" is "mastering" him, or taking him over.Ā 
  • This reminds us of the sexual crisis from Section 28, except the current crisis is more like a depression than a sexual problem.
  • His concern about being mastered is motivated by thoughts of imprisonment, something that Whitman does not seem to like.
  • He identifies with the prisoners and convicts.
  • He's one of the prisoners, and not the "jolly one" either. He's a nervous wreck.
  • He's also a sick person and a beggar.
  • We think this section must be about society's outcasts. He hasn't forgotten them, either.