Letter to Walt Whitman

Dear Mister Walt Whitman,

Recently in class we read your poem “Song of Myself”. I really enjoyed reading it. I like your reference to nature, and how you expressed that everyone is equal .In your poem you showed traits of Romanticism, for example individualism; which is shown from the title “Song of Myself”. In our poem you mention numerous reference to the organic world, telling how everything that is natural is something good. From your poem you expressed passion with “A few light kisses, a few enhancing reaching around the arms”. From “Song of Myself” , there was a line that says “I give them the same, I receive them the same” which shows that you believe in equality. Reading “Songs of Myself”i now understand that there are various types of equality; not only different status, but also with gender, age, sexualities and nationalities, they all should be treated equally.Personality what i liked best about “Song of Myself” is your opinion of death, you said that death is natural, therefor believe that is was a good thing. You ask said that even after someone die, they will still be “alive and well somewhere” so death is not really the end of your life. It made me change my perspective of dying. I liked how you are so positive about everything including death itself. I believe that if everyone though of it that way, death would not be something that bring sorrow.

In “Song of Myself you said that “for every atom belonging to me, as good as belong to you”.This made me think about Percy Bysshe Shelley. He was born in a family of aristocrats, but he always believe that everyone should be equal. Percy wasted to bless the peasants by sharing them some of this wealth. Although the difference between you and Percy Bysshe Shelley is the Percy was born in a aristocrat family so he might not agree with your view of nudism being a good thing.Your poem “Song of Myself” also remind me of a American Transcendentalist call Henry David Thoreau., on of the theme of his work was nature and the wilderness.. I believe that since both of you wrote a lot about nature, that is you were to ever meet you would have a lot in common. Although i believe that Coloreidge would bot agree with you, since during his time they were just starting Romanticism , especially the part  where you mention in “Song of Myself” that you wanted to “go to the bark of the wood and become undisguised and naked”. Being a noble I believe that Coloreidge would not have done that.

Speaking of nudism being a part of nature, a few decades ago there was a group of peace lover, we called them the “hippies”, they too believe in being one with nature , they would grow their hair out, and sometimes walk around naked because, just as you mention in in your poem, it’s natural. But that was a few decades ago, not people still do not like the idea of going out on the street naked, although sometimes during strikes you would be able to see people protesting naked.Although I believe that it would still take some time before topple accept the idea that being naked is good, because it’s part of nature.

After reading “Song of Myself” it made me want to read the rest of you poetry in “Leaves of Grass”. I hope they are as good as “Song of Myself”


Alissa Yap

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1 comment to Letter to Walt Whitman

  • Aaron

    Wow I like this post. I really like the part where you compared both Walt Whitman and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Also, I enjoyed reading about the “Hippies” part. Overall, great post!

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