Song of Myself Close Reading

Whitman includes inspirational, yet erotic views of how he feels for his soul and the life around him. Stanza 90 in section 5 really stuck out to me in a way that may be considered an erotic encounter with his own soul, but I see that in a way of being in touch with yourself and your feelings. Whitman writes, “How you settled your head athwart my hips and gently turned over upon me, And rated the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunged your tongue to my bare- strips heart, And reached till you felt my beard, and reached till you held my feet”.

Whitman is describing lying in the grass together on a “transparent” or clear and beautiful summer morning. He is becoming in touch with himself and his soul that is moving around his body in a pleasant and warming way. His beautiful souls starts feeling his way around him wanting to give his body this biggest kiss to himself ever imaginable. His soul goes to his waist and his pips and then simply and gracefully moves around to his tailbone, then goes up to his heart finishing this soulful kiss that arises him.

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Going deeper into this stanza, he uses powerful, self-loving diction. It is like he almost wants to get his readers to feel the same thing he is experiencing while reading, wanting the kiss to reach all the way to the speakers heart to really connect with him. This is a powerful metaphor that Whitman writes about connecting all these feelings with his soul and providing a feeling that is o pleasant to the point where everyone should feel love from their own selves.

Whitman wants to get his readers to understand that loving yourself is so important and that we should, as humans, be able to feel our soul giving us the biggest kiss imaginable. I feel like Whitman is also trying to send a message saying that being intimate with your own soul can only lead to “peace and joy and knowledge. ” The more you know yourself and the better you feel about yourself may lead more easily to happiness and peace within.

While reading this, it made me wonder even more deeply at the fact of why people don’t feel in touch with themselves more. Why is it that I felt weird and kind of uncomfortable reading this? I think it is because of the erotic description of him laying in the grass feeling this arousing moment for him, but I think it is more important to take time to yourself and find out who you really are as a person. Doing that could lead to ultimate happiness and serenity in your busy life by realizing you are an important aspect to the world.