Study Guide

Song of Myself Section 47

By Walt Whitman

Section 47

  • In this section Whitman is starts to sound like Obi-Wan Kenobi or some other sage master here.
  • He's a teacher, but in order to prove his strength, you have to exceed him and even destroy him.
  • He talks about a boy who becomes a man by not taking the path of "conformity or fear." He isn't afraid to get his hands dirty, get sunburned, or even get injured. Whitman doesn't like pampered people.
  • Even though he thinks you need to find your own path, he's still going to follow you around.
  • He doesn't say things just to earn money or to fill up time. He speaks in the voice of nature and honest work.
  • Once again he praises people who work outdoors and with their hands: farmers, woodsmen, mechanics, mothers, etc.
  • Whitman speaks to them and they continue doing what they were doing before.