Song of Myself by Walt Whitman Part 5 Explication

Essay by andy.clemensHigh School, 11th grade December 2008

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Part five of Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" explicates the intrinsic relationship one shares with his soul. The poet delivers a monologue to his own soul, in which he conveys his union with it. He recollects a metaphorical morning spent with his soul.

The poet opens - in lines one and two - with an acknowledgment of the paramount importance of his soul. He proclaims, "I believe in you my soul, the other I am must not abase itself to you" In lines four to six, the poet proposes to his soul, "Loafe with me on the grass, loose the stop from your throat..." The poet uses this request to convey a heartfelt desire to gain a deeper understanding of himself. He proceeds, "Not words, not music or rhyme I want... Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice," thereby stressing the pleasure he derives from listening to his own thoughts, spoken through the voice his soul.

The poet continues (in lines seven to eleven) by recalling - or at least fabricating - a past liaison, immediately reminiscent of (presumably homosexual) oral sex; "How you settled your head athwart my hips and gently turn'd over upon me... And reach'd till you felt my beard, and reach'd till you held my feet." However, the poet relates the encounter - not merely to depict an overtly sexual act - but to describe the exhilaration he receives from self-discovery. This is evidenced in lines twelve to twenty-two, in which the poet relates what can only be called a euphoria: "Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass / all the argument of the earth... And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women / my sisters and lovers..."Part...