Song of Myself Questions and Answers
by Walt Whitman

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What is a summary of Part 11 of "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman?

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Part 11 of this poem concerns a "lonesome" woman who is, at twenty-eight years of age, the owner of a "fine house" which overlooks the shore where twenty-eight young men are bathing. The woman's loneliness is a palpable theme in this section of the poem: she is watching the young men but "hides" as she does so. Fully "drest," she imagines herself splashing in the water, yearning to do so, but in actuality she can only stand in her room, "stock still," watching the men from afar.

It is clear that the woman longs for the men's company. At twenty-eight, in Whitman's day and age, she would have been considered a spinster, too old to be married. At this juncture, she sees even the plainest of the men as "beautiful," so desperate is she for somebody to love her. In her mind, the woman runs after the men, the "twenty-ninth bather" whom the others do not see. She "loved" them, imagining herself one of them.

The woman's "unseen hand" passes over the bodies of the young men, an expression of her...

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