Whitman glorifies the lady in Song of Myself

Walt Whitman (1819-92) glorifies the sex-starved young lady of 28 years in his iconic epic poem “Song of Myself”.  

Actually, the lady expresses her intense feeling of isolation and loneliness in this poem. She has no friends or company. So, she needs male companionship. The well-dressed lady watches twenty-eight handsome young men bathing near the seashore. They are bathing in a carefree manner. The lady is watching them from the window of her room. She with her thirsty eye, observes them deeply. She is a very lonely figure who is residing in the bank.   

More Notes: Walt Whitman

She is absorbed in the thought that any one of those twenty-eight young men, would satisfy her thirst for sex. As she watches them, she with her power of imagination, lets herself join with them. She starts to bathe with them and swim with them. She passes her hand over their bodies from head to foot.    

But the twenty-eight bathers are not aware of the lady. They are in their own world, swimming, not bothered about the lady or the unseen twenty-ninth swimmer. The poet describes the scene in a very sensuous manner. The poet describes her as,  

An unseen hand also passed over their bodies, It descended tremblingly from their temples and ribs”. 

Thus, the poet glorifies the sex-starved young lady, the twenty-ninth swimmer. Actually, throughout the poem, she stands for that soul that man in his imperfection is unable to recognize.  

More Notes: Suggestions

Rashedul Islam
Rashedul Islam

Hi, This is Rashedul. Researcher and lecturer of English literature and Linguistics.

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