Homework Help

 Old English is difficult sometimes.How can I paraphrase Song of myself in order to...

user profile pic

camino | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 27, 2007 at 11:35 AM via web

dislike 1 like

 Old English is difficult sometimes.How can I paraphrase Song of myself in order to understand it better?

I would like to change it into  prose

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted October 27, 2007 at 12:32 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

Enotes has a complete summary and analysis of the poem. Just follow the link below, and you should be able to understand the poem better in order to write it in prose.

user profile pic

sagetrieb | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted October 27, 2007 at 10:57 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

Song of Myself is not written in Old English, which refers to language before the Middle Ages (before 1400).  Song of Myself was written in the 1800s. One way to try to understand it better, and just to learn to read poetry better, is to keep a dictionary handy, and look up the words as you go along. After looking up the words, try paraphrasing the line in your notebook, and you will be pleased with how well you can begin understanding the poem. This, together with the information enotes provides, will give you the skills to understand poetry more easily in the future.  Some of Whitman's allusions are difficult, however, and at these moments enotes might be more essential to understanding the poem.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes