A symbol is a thing that represents or stands for something else, especially a material object representing something abstract.
The symbolic significance of Grass
Walt Whitman (1819-92) in his most celebrated epic poem “The Song of Myself” beautifully expressed symbols like grass, Self, Houses and rooms, perfume, and atmosphere. The symbol that runs through the poem is obviously the grass, which is introduced in the 6th section of Song of Myself.
More Notes: Song of Myself
Song of Myself” is a poem by Walt Whitman that is included in his work Leaves of Grass. It has been credited as “representing the core of Whitman’s poetic vision.”
The grass is the flag of Whitman’s disposition, “out of hopeful green stuff woven.” It may be “the handkerchief of the Lord” or perhaps “a child, the produced babe of the vegetation.” It’s “the beautiful uncut hair of graves.” The grass, Whitman observes, is darker than the beards of old men.
Again, the image of grass represents the continuity of the cycle of life and death. It grows just like human life and eventually dies. Each blade of grass is like us as individuals, different individually but the same in the larger scheme of things.
More Notes: Suggestions
Each leaf or blade of grass possesses its own distinct beauty, and together the blades form a beautifully unified whole, an idea Whitman explores in the sixth section of “Song of Myself.” Multiple leaves of grass thus symbolize democracy.