Home > Free Essays > Literature > Poems > The Poem ‘Song of Myself’ by Whitman

The Poem ‘Song of Myself’ by Whitman Essay

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Jan 4th, 2022


Through the Song of Myself poem, Walt Whitman uses a variety of cunning commentaries as well as symbolism to argue that he is intricately related to the 3 concepts of life, The Universe, as well as death. To demonstrate, the poet describes a number of everyday events in so much detail that he indicates his intimate contact with life. For example, Whitman describes the experiences of both a lunatic and a printer to prove that he celebrates life. The poet also confirms his general interest in human life. Conversely, the poet shows that he is intimately related to death by suggesting that his demise will herald the emergence of another crop of people on earth. These descendants will carry on Whitman’s endeavors. He thus terminates his poem with a vague comment that needs to be completed by his successors. The influence of death on the poet’s life is also evident through Whitman’s suggestion that his death will be beneficial as it will herald freedom. On the other hand, Whitman is also closely linked with The Universe through his statement that classifies him as both individualistic but also global. For instance, he indicates that his ideas are shared by other humans on earth, thus showing that he is an intimate component of The Universe. The Universe represents the worldwide communion of humankind. All in all, through the Song of Myself poem, Whitman presents a description of himself that demonstrates that the poet is intimately related to the concepts of life, death, and The Universe.

Relationship with The Universe

To illustrate, the poet starts his work by informing readers that he is universal and can thus be found in various places. This symbolic statement, which is captured through the ‘Missing me one place search another,’ indicates that Whitman is a universal being (Wiltman 63). As such, he is indistinguishable from other members of society. Whitman may also mean that he represents the entire human race through the aforementioned statement. He is thus proven to be an integral constituent of The Universe that encompasses all humanity.

In relation to the aforementioned issue, Whitman shows his close relationship with the rest of humanity – The Universe – by employing his persona to represent and speak for humanity in general. This concept is exhibited through the poet’s statement to the effect that his views are those of other human beings. By making this statement, Whitman proves that he has intimate ties with the global union of persons in 2 significant ways. Firstly, he acts as a sort of spokesperson for other human beings. In addition, the poet’s natural persona is shown to be so similar to those of the other humans that Whitman’s individuality mirrors that of general humanity. For example, he informs his audience that he will ‘stop somewhere waiting for them’ (Whitman 63). This assurance shows that Whitman is considerate of the welfare of his compatriots who form his audience. In this way, the poet indicates that he has a very close relationship with The Universe by interchangeably assuming abstract as well as individualistic personas so as to convey his ideas about humanity and life. In the individual capacity, the poet describes his life and the associated events and occurrences, showing that these resemble those of his fellow human beings. On the other hand, the poet adopts an abstract persona to argue for the betterment of society’s general welfare.

Relationship with by death

Further, the poet shows that he is an integral part of humanity as he explains the concept of ‘grass’ to a child. Whitman employs symbolism as he explains that grass represents the global union of human beings. He adds that after death, which all people experience, grass takes over humanity by growing on their graves and extracting nutrients from their bodies. To the poet, grass amounts to an entity that symbolizes worldwide unity and uniformity. The action of grass facilitating the emergence of successive generations of people leads to freedom. Considering that freedom and grass are universal, Whitman contends that he is a significant component of the universal union of humanity. In this way, the poet is exhibited as comprising The Universe by being an essential part of the global communion of human beings.

Relationship with life

In addition, Whitman demonstrates their relationship with death by suggesting that through their demise, another more advanced generation will emerge to finalize their work. This concept is evident through the poet’s concluding statement. He indicates that he wishes to finally ‘sound my (his) barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world’ (Whitman 63). This confession – coming at the end of the poet’s composition, indicates that the poet has yet to refine his work. He thus invites his successor generation to do the necessary refinement on his poem. The statement ‘why don’t you let it out then’ shows the poet’s desire to give way to the succeeding generation (Whitman). Further, he notes that ‘all goes onward and outward, nothing collapses’ (Whitman 63). This statement shows that his death is not the end of his endeavors. Such a situation proves that Whitman is closely related to the concept of death as it enables the continuation of his works through the input of his heirs.


In conclusion, through the Song of Myself poem, Whitman employs a number of cunning remarks as well as symbolism to demonstrate that he is intricately related to the 3 concepts of death, The Universe, as well as life. The general society of mankind represents the concepts of The Universe in this case. As such, the poet describes a great number of everyday events to show that he is intricately linked with life. This close relationship has enabled the poet to study a variety of normal human affairs at a very close range. He is thus proven to love and appreciate life. On the other hand, he indicates that he is either a representative of the entire human community or he is indistinguishable from other human beings. For example, he notes that his views resemble those of his fellow humans. He also assures other humans that he will wait for them at some point, thereby proving his desire for general human prosperity. He is also apparently constantly mobile, thus touching on the concept of The Universe. The poet is thus effectively a significant constituent of the global society of human beings. Conversely, Whitman indicates that he has to die so as to facilitate the emergence of a more advanced crop of people. By playing a part in the phenomenon of death with other human beings, Whitman proves that he is a useful component of global brotherhood. He thus demonstrates that he is intricately tied to the concept of death.

Works Cited

Whitman, Walt. The Complete Poems. New York: Penguin, 1977. Print.

This essay on The Poem ‘Song of Myself’ by Whitman was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

801 certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:


IvyPanda. (2022, January 4). The Poem 'Song of Myself' by Whitman. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-poem-song-of-myself-by-whitman/


IvyPanda. (2022, January 4). The Poem 'Song of Myself' by Whitman. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-poem-song-of-myself-by-whitman/

Work Cited

"The Poem 'Song of Myself' by Whitman." IvyPanda, 4 Jan. 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/the-poem-song-of-myself-by-whitman/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Poem 'Song of Myself' by Whitman." January 4, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-poem-song-of-myself-by-whitman/.


IvyPanda. "The Poem 'Song of Myself' by Whitman." January 4, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-poem-song-of-myself-by-whitman/.


IvyPanda. 2022. "The Poem 'Song of Myself' by Whitman." January 4, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-poem-song-of-myself-by-whitman/.


IvyPanda. (2022) 'The Poem 'Song of Myself' by Whitman'. 4 January.

Powered by CiteTotal, best essay referencing tool
More related papers