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In Section 46 of Whitman's Song of Myself, what are some examples of imagery, rhythm,...
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Some metaphors in this section occur in this line: “Not I, not any one else can travel that road for you.” Here “travel” and “road” refer to choices a person must make, the speaker advising that each person must make her own, that neither he (the speaker, through his advice) nor anyone else can assume that responsibility for another. “Travel that road” is itself an image, of course, envisioning a pathway that goes off onto the “landscapes of continent” to which the speaker points with his right hand in the previous line. This image allows us to think of the vastness of the future, and by using nature, the image depicts our lives in terms of the land—particularly the land of America, which the poem celebrates throughout. The rhythm varies throughout the section (as it does throughout the poem). The passage “It is not far, it is within reach, /Perhaps you have been on it since you were born and did not know, / Perhaps it is everywhere on water and on land” uses parallelism to create a rhythm that creates a tone of reassurance. “It is not far” offers two iambic feet, and “it is within reach” (a separate independent clause in the same line) begins by repeating the two iambic feet (“it is within”) but then breaking the regularity with the word “reach,” which takes on an individual accent which intensifies the meaning of the word.
Posted by sagetrieb on December 12, 2007 at 10:59 PM (Answer #1)
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