Walt Whitman 2 Essay, Research Paper
Mysticism, Democracy, Individuality&Personality
The 1881 publication of the Leaves of Grass contained more than twenty-four poems, which were reasonably filled with ten or more diversified types of themes. Walt Whitman the author and compiler of this exceptional work changed the status of poetry writing through his utilization of thought and expression in the publication of the Leaves of Grass. Ralph Waldo Emerson, a collogue and admirer of Walt once spoke this of him Whitman, that Sir, is a strange case, a case unknown to any of us, unless we should stumble upon him at church one day (Chase 142). A prevalent subject in all of Whitman s poetry is his use of the Divine Soul (god), which tends to explicate that Whitman was a very strong believer in his religion. Whitman use of themes discusses his own individuality and personality; he wanted to explain the democracy of America, and its achievements, while giving poetical thought to the great mysteries that plagued mankind of his generation.
The human self was comprised of physical and spiritual annex which both contained a self and soul as was characterized by Whitman.
The self that Whitman spoke of was a man s own individual identity, which has a distinct quality and being, different from the selves of other men, but could be utilized to identify other men. The soul is another type of identity of mankind, which finds its niche in a human, and begins to amplify its personality. This self and soul that embodies every man on this celestial body is a portion of the divine soul also known as god. Whitman s use of these two elements led him to a closer path towards god, as he once said A man, who finds himself, is I the way of coming closer in contact with god (Whitman 104). Some critics confuse Whitman s use of self and soul to be egotism through his use of the pronoun I , but he uses I as a universal, a part of the angelic world (God), and therefore he is not an egotistical man.
Whitman had a deep faith in the democracy of America because this political form of government respected the individual. He believed that the United States was best expressed through the common citizen, not the executive branch or the legislature. Another belief of Whitman is that in democracy, the common person had a deathless attachment to freedom. This attitude of Whitman could be traced back to the Enlightenment of the 18th century, where he thought that all evil dwelled in the oppressive social institutions, not in the naive human mind.
The function of Whitman s literature was to urge people to break away from the feudal past and progress to the democratic future, for Whitman held no regard for humans with titles of nobility, he only wrote poetry for the common man. Whitman regarded everything with great importance for example, a single leaf of grass, was as important to him as the heavenly motion of the stars. Whitman s love of America was due to his panoramic view of the scenery and its diverse democratically inclined people America, this great land is full of democracy and republicanism (Cowley 143). This great man was the writer of the self and the publisher of democracy, because he believed that only in a free society could individuals attain self-hood. His rise to civic virtue improved his true spiritual self to become a democrat. This idea of democracy was that all men were created equal and have equal rights as stated in the constitution of the Untied States, but this democracy was tainted with spiritual democracy that the human being had immerse possibilities and a measureless wealth for spiritual power.
Mysticism is an experience that has a spiritual meaning, which is not apparent to the senses or to the intellect. Therefore mysticism is the insight into the real nature of man, god, and the universe, which can be attained through ones intuition.
To the mystic there is a place where the unity of god, man, and nature exists, and time and space travel are unreal, since both can be overcome by man through spiritual conquest with a spiritual presence on his side, a man can overcome any battle (Pearce 142). Whitman hypocrisy is shown when he states that evil only resides in the oppressive social institutions, but he later reveals that evil has been eradicated, through god s ubiquitous attribute may all evil vanish form the walks of earth, because god has arrived (Cowley 78). A human communicates with their soul through mystical experiences, which Whitman gives amply responses to this in his publication the Leaves of Grass especially in Song of Myself. In the Leaves of Grass, he expresses his mystical experiences of his body being entered upon by a supernatural force. Whitman s poetry is his artistic expression of various speeches of his mystical experience.
Some Critics argue that Walt Whitman uses no particular accepted form of poetry. And that in Style Whitman believes that poetry should have been spoken not written. Whitman was the master of exuberant phrases and images, which made his rhythms very famous and notable those phrases and vivid images made me feel like I was really there (Chase 153).
In his use of imagery he shows his imaginative power, the depth of perceptions and his capacity to capture reality instantaneously. Whitman used symbolism to interpret the universe and its and its highly mystical questions.
Finally, the use of individuality and personality explained Whitman s use of themes; this was achieved through the explanation of the democracy in American, and the great mysteries of mankind were solved through poetical thought. Whitman s achievements as a poet were truly monumental. He exercised a deep influence on his immediate successors in American letters and even on modern poetry. As a symbolist his influence was felt in Europe, where he was considered one of the greatest American poets ever. Walt Whitman became modern through his utilization of his prophetic attribute and became world renowned for his great poetry. Walt Whitman achieved the Olympian stature and rare distinction of a world poet.