By Yakov Stone
This article is for the weirdos. It’s for the people who dance to music 🎶 late at night when they’re alone; for the people who find funerals funny and who sometimes cry so hard that they start laughing.
You’re here? Good, because I’m about to do something radical. I’m about to ask you to read a poem.
It’s called Song of Myself, by Walt Whitman. You’ve probably heard of it, and maybe you’ve even read enough of it to know that it’s one of the freest poems ever written. It doesn’t have rhyme or rhythm, it doesn’t have structure, it doesn’t have plot. It defies analysis. It changed my life, and I bet it can change yours too.
Divided into fifty-two independent sections, Song of Myself is easy to read and even easier to love. A tribute to the ineffable beauty of the self and the wondrous mystery of all that is not the self, Song of Myself is full of contradictions and makes no attempt at trying to resolve them.
Humility is important, but, in Song of Myself, humility and honesty are synonymous. Whitman never apologizes for his carefree attitude, for his celebration of himself, for his sexuality. Why regret who you are? Why not admit to yourself and others that you believe that you are special?
Does that sound inspiring? Does that sound affirming, positive, indescribably true?
If it does, then please start reading. Read a section at a time, savoring the language, the depth, the beautiful ideas that are contained within. Read the third section when you need inspiration to start something new. Read the twentieth section when you feel like you could use some self-confidence. Read the forty-eighth section when you don’t feel the presence of God.
“Have you reckon’d a thousand acres much? have you reckon’d
the earth much?
Have you practis’d so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?”
–Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
If you have, then read with me. 📖📖📖
Click here to read the poem!