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In the poem "I celebrate myself, and sing myself" from Leaves of Grass, what...

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mikegwc | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 24, 2007 at 2:11 PM via web

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In the poem "I celebrate myself, and sing myself" from Leaves of Grass, what does the first stanza mean?

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sagetrieb | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted September 24, 2007 at 8:28 PM (Answer #1)

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The opening lines of the poem celebrate the individual as well as the community to which he belongs—in “celebrating” himself, he celbrates “you” because all human beings are bound by their beautiful humanity.  The speaker celebrates all aspects of himself, good and bad, and claims the right to “loafe” so that he might invite his soul to participate in nature—to “observe a piece of grass.”  The poem was ground breaking for many reasons, one being a radical change in language that embraces a common vernacular, the bodily and quotidian aspects of life, and the earth as part of the experience of being human

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