Whitman draws on the tradition of epic poetry, beginning with a declaration in which he seems to depict himself as his own muse (the poem is called the "song of myself," after all) rather than appealing to one of the daughters of Zeus, the traditional muses of Greek storytelling. He needs no inspiration other than himself, and he implies that his exploration of self will, indeed, be epic. He explains his own provenance, the origins of his body and blood, noting his current age of thirty-seven, and he says that he begins his song now, "Hoping to cease not till death"; in other words, he wishes to keep singing until his body dies. When he says, "Creeds and schools in abeyance," he seems to indicate that he will keep various ideologies (ways of thinking) with which he is familiar at bay; they will be suspended, inactive, while he sings. He will not forget them totally, but he will retire them for a time so that he can really focus on himself as the source of his inspiration. He will speak now, "for good or bad" and "at every hazard," of and for himself.