Songof Myself by Walt Whitman
Thepoem addresses the issue of self be it self-esteem, self-control orself-confidence. Walt brings out an egocentric view towards how anindividual sees him/herself. It is all about the individual, whohe/she is in their opinion and the things the person loves. AsWhitman introduces the poem, he has a set mind to only talk abouthimself and all the fifty-two sections in the poemdo just that. It takes a lot of effort and guts to write such a longpoem about the self, and it is clear that Whitman has thisconfidence. It is evident as the poembegins were Whitman says that he celebrates himself and sings himself(Whitman 66).From Freud to Jung and other psychologists the issue of the self-viewhas come up many times in their theoretical proposals. It is anintegral component of the psychological well-being of any individual.
Justas Whitman insists on being egocentric and giving all the positiveaspects of the person he is, so does psychologists like Freud do thesame for their clients. All these individuals work on presenting theimportance of the view of self on the person as a whole. Whenan individualappreciates who he/she is, the person will not have a problemdeveloping a healthy and positive view of who he/she is. Howeverthose who develop a negative self-view, cannot appreciate who theyare and will always seek approval from other people. Similarly,Whitman does the same in his poem. Whitman clearly brags about theperson he is and explains how he is amazed at his lightness and gleeas he hunts in the mountains and wilds.
Stillon the issue of self, Whitman looks at self-reliance in a sense thatbrings him out as an individual who will work for what hewants and not wait for other people to help him in any way. Itclearly indicates that Whitman is a focused in what hedoes and has set goals which he ensures he achieves them. As Whitmansays in the poem, hegoes for his chances and spends for returns which are vast. Hemakes himself look good and places himself on anything that is first.He also explains that he does not wait onthe skyto come down to his good will. This part of the poem demonstrates theimportance of hard work and focus. It also shows the importance incoming up with goals and finding ways to achieve these aims. A personmay get help from other people, and this assistance is usuallyessential in some instances. It is however not a must to alwaysdepend on other people to achieve want a person wants in life. Theymay not have a similar vision or plan and may not have support forthe individual’s goals in some cases. It is, critical for a personto carefully choose those people that will have a similar vision andwill support him/her in fulfilling the set goals.
Throughoutthe poem, Whitman makes a full address to himself and appreciateshimself all along. He identifies how important he is not onlyimportant to himself but to the environment and other people who arearound him. That is why hebases the whole poem on himself and admires the person he is. Heclearly indicates the importance of self-worth and an appreciation ofoneself. It is essential to be positiveas an individual and always appreciate oneself before seeking theappreciation of other people. This way, a person will learn to besatisfied with who he/she is. There is also an explanation of theidentity of Whitman.
Inthe poem, he tries to connect the character with different people inthe poemincluding the one reading the poem. He appreciates the concept ofbeing in contact with those who are around him and does not judgeothers. It is an indication that a person requires other peoplearound for various reasons. Socialization transaction and developmentare some of the main reasons that demand the presence of otherindividuals in society. An individual’s identity isformedwith the influence of other people and meaning is also attached towhat happens when in the presence of other people. Development, be itphysical or psychological will require the influence of outsideparties which will help in the definition of an individual who iswell rounded and can easily interact with those around him/her.Whitman is keen to bring out this point to the reader and demonstrateits importance in the poem.
Itis, however, critical to identify that an individual should not beoverly egocentric(Bolier, et al.10).He/she needs to learn the limits of egocentrism and not go beyond.Overdoing it will mean that the person has no regard for thewellbeing of other people and only thinks about himself. Whitman mayat some points be too egocentric, and his words in the poem show thathe is more important than any other individual. It is, however, anexpression of how he feels about himself and wants the world to knowabout it and therefore writes the poem.
Bolier,Linda, et al. "Positive psychology interventions: ameta-analysis of randomized controlled studies." BMCpublic health13.1 (2013): 1.
Whitman,Walt. Songof myself.Рипол Классик, 1976.