In the poem "Song of Myself" from Leaves of Grass, what does the first stanza mean?

In "Song of Myself" in Leaves of Grass, Whitman declares that the "I" of the narrator includes not only himself as an individual, but also the rest of humanity and the entire universe.

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"Song of Myself" was originally untitled in the collection. Later, it was called "Poem of Walt Whitman, an American," and later still it was shortened to "Walt Whitman" before it was given its final name. Whitman saw his whole body of work as interconnected, and he continued revising and adding to Leaves of Grass throughout his lifetime.

"Song of Myself," along with many of the other poems in Leaves of Grass, draws heavily on the philosophy of transcendentalism, which sees people and nature as good and extols the virtues of individualism and idealism.

The first stanza of "I Celebrate Myself and Sing Myself" serves as a thematic statement for not only "Song of Myself," but also the entire body of Whitman's work. It is important to keep in mind that the "I" of the narrator does not merely stand for Whitman himself. Instead, it represents much more. A key to this is found in the first stanza where Whitman writes that "what I assume you shall assume, for every atom belonging to me as good...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1097 words.)

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