Song to Myself by Whitman

Read carefully the sixteen assigned sections of “Song of Myself” and respond to the question below in an essay of approximately 1,000 words (five paragraphs).

Before you begin, ensure that you have read the introduction to the Norton Anthology, the introduction to the section on Whitman, and the lecture material. These readings provide necessary background to your study of the poetry. This is not a research essay. Do not use Internet resources such as Sparknotes, Schmoop, etc

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Your essay must follow the MLA style. 

Question: The first lines of “Song of Myself” read: “I celebrate myself, and sing myself” Whitman wants in his poetry to “sing” his vision of America. What is that vision insofar as he sees and records it as something both real and as a wished for ideal in parts 1-16 of his poem? What can you say about his attitude toward his subject matter, and what are some of the different moods present in the sections you have read? In your essay, you must address these questions with specific reference to lines in the poem. When you quote from the poem, use the parenthetical citation to record the line number(s) which you see to the right of the poem. For example “I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass” (Whitman 5).

Tips: Use your dictionary to look up new vocabulary; use pre-writing exercises to generate ideas, then organize your ideas into a paragraph topic-sentence outline; do not attempt to generalize based on your reading of Web-based resources dealing with the poem. For more information on Song to Myself by Whitman check out :

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