Spirituality And Sexuality In “Song Of Myself”

601 words - 2 pages

Throughout "Song Of Myself" Walt Whitman uses rich images, a somewhat oversized ego, and a rebellious nature to loosen the moral restraints of the time, and to describe himself as a spiritual being. In this poem, Whitman attempts to bring a sexual awareness to people who for many generations have considered sexual freedom as evil and sinful. He does this through fierce physical imagery that previously had never been used before in society. He also defines spirituality in a new light: human instead of purely divine. Whitman demonstrates that humans can be just as sacred in their natural state as any religion or church.The first line of the poem sets the tone for the rest of the poem because it is construed as an extremely egotistical line: "I celebrate myself, and sing myself," (l.1). When the reader first looks at this line, he can immediately ascertain that the rest of the poem will push the boundaries of convention. This egotistical, yet not offensive, tone pervades the poem. Arrogant Lines such as: "Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touch'd from, / The scent of these arm-pits aroma finer than prayer, / This head more finer than churches, bibles, and all the creeds." (ll. 524-526), illustrates that to find sacredness, one need not look any farther than a human body: "If I worship one thing more than another it shall be the spread of my own body, or any part of it," (l. 527). For those who feel the need for religious justification, one can take this as meaning because in the Christian/Catholic faith, humans are made in the exact image of God; the human body is a holy structure.Whitman uses his open views on human sexuality and sensuality in...

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