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Song of Myself

(Folhas de Relva #2)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  12,249 ratings  ·  431 reviews
Song of Myself may be the greatest poem ever written by an American. First published in 1855 as part of Leaves of Grass, it was revised and expanded by Whitman in subsequent editions in ways that sometimes undermined to its original freshness and vitality. Stephen Mitchell has gone back to the first edition and painstakingly compared it with the later versions, substitutin ...more
Paperback, 113 pages
Published June 23rd 1998 by Shambhala (first published 1856)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  12,249 ratings  ·  431 reviews


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Ruby Granger
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly remarkable. An ode to humanity.
Cheri
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, poetry, netgalley
NOW AVAILABLE!

Walt Whitman’s poem, which would eventually become “Song of Myself,” had no title in the 1855, first edition of Leaves of Grass. In the 1856 edition, it was “A Poem of Walt Whitman, an American.” In 1860, the title changed to “Walt Whitman.” It wasn’t until 1871 that Whitman changed the title to “Song of Myself.” Along with the changes in title were changes made over the course of time to the poem itself.

Whitman’s “I” is a spectator, a commentator of what he sees, seeing them all,
...more
Sean Barrs
Well, one thing I gathered from this poem is that Walt Whitman loves himself, and he loves America. To his mind, America is everything; it is freedom; it is democracy; it is happiness, and, again, according to him, it is the most poetic place on Earth. Through this he is trying to establish a unified America, and a mind-set that is distinctively American. After the civil war he wanted the nation to identify themselves with these ideals and to break from the past, as seen by his personal breaking ...more
Darwin8u
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, aere-perennius
“Let your soul stand cool and composed
before a million universes.”

― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

description

There are some books that are just MEANT to be illustrated. Where the poem seems part of the earth. Part of the poet. Part of the sky and the stars!

description

This book feels good. The binding is tight. The pages are thick. Even the cover contains multitudes. It is beautiful and rough. I rub it against my chin and it calms me. But wait. I haven't even opened the book yet.

description

I see Whitman as a Giant American; a gi
...more
Steven Godin
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I am the poet of the Body and I am the poet of the Soul,
The pleasures of heaven are with me and the pains of hell are with me,
The first I graft and increase upon myself, the latter I translate into a new tongue.

I am the poet of the woman the same as the man,
And I say it is as great to be a woman as to be a man,
And I say there is nothing greater than the mother of men.

I chant the chant of dilation or pride,
We have had ducking and deprecating about enough,
I show that size is only development.

Have
...more
Florencia
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Okay. This is a good start. I don't know if I'll ever read Leaves of Grass. I wish to, but something tells me I won't be doing that any time soon. However, I liked this poem. There's so much optimism in here that I thought I could never relate to it. And I was right... Still, I enjoyed reading this. I mean, he lost me during some verses, but after a couple of seconds and a sip of coffee, I was ready to keep going; there are a lot of beautiful lines waiting to be appreciated.
I think I could tu
...more
Adeline
Mar 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first six sections of Walt Whitman's Song of Myself present a myriad of issues both in subject matter and style. Reading these sections is a very different experience from reading a sonnet or even blank verse. Whitman's form was revolutionary when it arrived on the literary scene, and it continues to be distinctive. To some, Whitman's form is the essence of his art, and part of what makes Song of Myself so accessible and so entrancing. But to others it seems mere sloppiness – Whitman's line ...more
Bettie
Apr 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: BBC Radio Listeners
Recommended to Bettie by: Laura


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0770h0v

Description: Orson Welles read Whitman's trailblazing poem for the BBC Third Programme in 1953. In a new landmark reading of the poem, Welles' voice is interwoven with readings from a small cast of acclaimed actors - Michael Sheen, Clarke Peters, Julianna Jennings, Kyle Soller and Eleanor Bron. With an introduction from poet, Mark Doty.

Reader Orson Welles
Writer Walt Whitman
Reader Michael Sheen
Reader Julianna Jennings
Reader Kyle Soller
Reader Clarke Peters
R
...more
Marjorie
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this a few months ago, but I just wanted to add this to comment on Goodreads's lack of poetry section. I know that poetry has to be published in a specific volume, but most people read poetry selectively, not in its entirety (This poem took me two days to read. God knows how long Leaves of Grass would have taken). And reviewing an entire volume of poetry seems absurd when there is so much substance in just one poem. Basically, I would just like to talk about one poem instead of an entire ...more
Rebecca
There is no denying that this is a gorgeous book, each two-page monochrome spread lovingly and inventively drawn. You never know what the next page will bring. However, for someone brand new to Whitman, it just doesn’t work as a way of reading “Song of Myself.” Words loop around the page, skirting the illustrations in unpredictable patterns, so that it is very difficult to follow the poem’s flow. I gave up after one-third because I didn’t feel like I was actually reading Whitman. I need to get o ...more
Laura
Apr 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bettie, Wanda
From BBC Radio 3 - Drama on 3:
Orson Welles read Whitman's trailblazing poem for the BBC Third Programme in 1953. In a new landmark reading of the poem, Welles' voice is interwoven with readings from a small cast of acclaimed actors - Michael Sheen, Clarke Peters, Julianna Jennings, Kyle Soller and Eleanor Bron. With an introduction from poet, Mark Doty.

Produced by Emma Harding.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0770h0v
...more
Yasmeen


What I love about poetry is that there is a lot of room for interpretation. And in those beautiful 80 pages, Whitman did deliver what he promised before getting into the poem:
"You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self."

A must-read for anyone who likes to analyze things. It made me want to be in a book club just to discuss it. I think if I loved poetry a bit more, I might have appreciated it immensely.

A few bi
...more
John Pistelli
Whitman is one of those writers whose merits can get lost in their reputations; you forget how good he is when you're not reading him. His role as the mascot of a kind of kitschy Americana--especially ridiculous in this time of decline and fragmentation--overshadows his saving weirdness, his poetic originality:
Before I was born out of my mother generations guided me,
My embryo has never been torpid . . . . nothing could overlay it;
For it the nebula cohered to an orb . . . . the long slow strata
...more
Lio
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As Whitman says,
"Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?

Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self."
Marty
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible read every time it is read

I read Song of Myself a year ago during an an online Modern Poetry class and again the year. There is so much to take from his poetry.

The verbal written visuals of nature, people, the reflections of his world are the successes of his Poetry and so much more.

He is the turning point along with Emily Dickinson as the Birthers of Modern Poetry. This is a great read, time after time, after time.
Nancy
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, netgalley
In 1969 I picked up a paperback copy of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. I still have the book, underlined and worn. For me, Song of Myself has always been one of Whitman's trickier poems to tackle and I have only read it in bits and pieces. I was excited to see this new volume of Song of Myself with commentary. It gave me an opportunity to read the poem in its entirety, with aids to help me sort it out.

In 2014 the University of Iowa offered an open, international online course, Every Atom: Walk
...more
Nərmin
Sep 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
It was good experience for me) Although I have read poems in English before, it was the first time I have read full 80 paged poem) I didn't like all the poem, there were some parts boring, and some parts I just didn't grasp the meaning/ I don't know all the English poetic words so I had difficulty understanding it at times/(( Still Here are some parts I liked a lot:

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
.................
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if
...more
Taylor Garton
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm reading Walt Whitman's collection of poems in his book Leaves of Grass but by far my favorite, and the poem i would want to share with the world is Song of Myself. The first time i read through the poem i had a hard time comprehending what or who Whitman was talking about. So i had to read it again, and again and even a 3rd and yes 5th time. The more i read his words the more i became aware of his understanding of himself. Not only in this poem does write scenery but Whitman spends six page ...more
Maggie
Aug 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two-and-a-half stars would really be more accurate.

My first mistake was trying to read it in bits and snatches when I could, instead of sitting down and drinking it all in at once. Read as a unit, < i>Song of Myself carries a clear, undeniably lovely message. But something about Whitman bothered me, and I don't know if it's him, or my unfortunate general lack of appreciation of poetry.

It seemed to me like I was reading the full roster of his thoughts, with no filter, and no organization. Someti
...more
Keith
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is something altogether unique, an illustrated version of one of the best poems ever written and something that I believe should be an entirely new genre of literature/art. This book is something that you pick up once a day, let the words roll through your mind, and trace the illustrations as they "drift" in "lacy jags" across the page. I'd love to see this done with other poems and prose...
Tim Minor
Dec 15, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This haughty asshole is the reason poets have a bad name. God complex in high doses. If you ever catch yourself saying " I celebrate myself and sing MYSELF, and what I assume YOU shall assume"- punch yourself in the face for thinking your that omnipotent. Whitman was lucky he was writing in a era of women oppression or else Emily D would have sucker punched his arrogance in the balls.
Emma
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This stuff is exceptional, brilliant in fact. But I am 99.9% sure that Whitman was definitely smoking something when he produced this monstrosity.
ZaRi

Would you hear of an old-time sea-fight?
Would you learn who won by the light of the moon and stars?
List to the yarn, as my grandmother’s father the sailor told it to me.

Our foe was no skulk in his ship I tell you, (said he,)
His was the surly English pluck, and there is no tougher or truer, and never was, and never will be;
Along the lower’d eve he came horribly raking us.

We closed with him, the yards entangled, the cannon touch’d,
My captain lash’d fast with his own hands.

We had receiv’d some eigh
...more
Greg
Feb 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, reviewed
I find the following very nice:
"The bright sun I see and the dark suns I cannot see are in their place,
The palpable is in its place and the impalpable is in its place.
These are really the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands,
They are not original with me."
But what of this:
"My face rubs to the hunter's face when he lies down alone in his blanket."
I'm reading "Leaves of Grass" in its entirety, but wanted to comment of this, perhaps Whitman's most famous work. So far, it's the best of "Grass",
...more
Elizabeth A
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, poetry
I'm not a fan of poetry, and am convinced that I must have had so awful a teacher that I have blocked the entire endeavor from my mind. Though it could just be me. Maybe poems have more meaning as one gets older. Whatever the real reason, I decided to rectify this gap in my education by taking the MODERN & CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN POETRY class offered by Coursera. And I am smitten.

I have read this poem by Whitman in parts and in its entirety several times. I have listened to a wonderful reading of
...more
Matt
Feb 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Expansive, grand, vast, yet unpretentious and intimate.

This is the American mind, I say.

This is the poem of one man's life. Don't just dwell on the hippie bullshit (though it's the greatest hippieness ever hipped!) but there's serious metaphysics and political statements here, too.

Welcoming and vibrant and dusky and sweet. He stops somewhere, waiting for you.

Bloom says that Whitman (at least while tending to the sick and the dead soldiers of the Civil War) is the American Jesus, and I heartily a
...more
Sandra Navarro
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When something is truly amazing, I can rarely find the right words to describe it, so, I'll let it talk for itself:

"Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all s
...more
Jennifer (aka EM)
May 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Does anyone ever "finish" reading a poem? With some - like this one, The Wasteland, maybe Howl - others? - they are like bottomless cups of coffee. Every time you go back to them, take another sip, there's more to taste.

That is all.

(and I'm still taking this as a notch on my book challenge bedpost) ;-)
...more
Anna
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well that was an experience... Not entirely sure how I feel about this poem. On the one hand some parts confused the heck out of me, so many metaphors that i would comepletly forget what Whitman was talking about. However on the other hand when I did understand I was blown away by the complexity and depth of his story. This poem is about life, people, us. It is confusing and beautiful. It is a celebration of life. I enjoyed reading it, especially the last 25 pages. I will definitely be reading i ...more
eliana
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"(...) what is that
you express in your eyes?
It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life."

"Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)"

"I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.

You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.

Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me o
...more
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3,770 followers
Walter Whitman was an American poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist. He was a part of the transition between Transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse.

Born on Long Island, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, and a volunteer nurse during
...more

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