What are Whitman's views on nature? How does he express them in "Song of Myself"?

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amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their
parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.

Just from the first stanza of "Song of Myself" the reader can see that Whitman loves nature and loves being in nature.  In fact, he considers every creature (that's you and me) part of nature--all atoms intertwined and all part of the bigger picture.  Anything that interconnected is energizing, revitalizing, and serves to jazz you up on a daily basis. 

Whitman belongs to the group of poets who suscribe to the idea that no matter how poorly you're feeling or how bad your day has been, just take a walk in the cleansing air and enjoy nature in its element.  After that, you can't possibly continue to be down and depressed...the energy of nature will uplift you like a pep rally for your soul. 

Read the study guide:
Leaves of Grass

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