Song of Myself: Section 7 - Summary & Analysis

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Has any one supposed it lucky to be born?
I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know it.
I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-wash’d babe, and am not contain’d between my hat and boots,
And peruse manifold objects, no two alike and every one good,
The earth good and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good.
I am not an earth nor an adjunct of an earth,
I am the mate and companion of people, all just as immortal and fathomless as myself,
(They do not know how immortal, but I know.)
Every kind for itself and its own, for me mine male and female,
For me those that have been boys and that love women,
For me the man that is proud and feels how it stings to be slighted,
For me the sweet-heart and the old maid, for me mothers and the mothers of mothers,
For me lips that have smiled, eyes that have shed tears,
For me children and the begetters of children.
Undrape! you are not guilty to me, nor stale nor discarded,
I see through the broadcloth and gingham whether or no,
And am around, tenacious, acquisitive, tireless, and cannot be shaken away.


I am not an earth nor an adjunct of an earth
I am the mate and companion of people, all just
As immortal and fathomless as myself,
(They do not know how immortal, but I know).

      These lines suggest that the ‘self’ is not limited to any physical stature. The ‘self’ of the poet, for example, is not bound to the earth alone. The ‘self’ belongs to the earth, to the Universe. The ‘self’ is a companion of all people. The ‘self’ is not bound by life and death. It is expensive. It includes everything in this Universe. The awareness of ‘self’ leads to realization of the soul. The soul is immortal. It has no death. Thus, the poet says, all beings are immortal, and fathomless. Being a poet he knows it, whereas the others do not.


      This section shows the ‘self’ of Whitman, becoming elastic and all-embracing. It enlarges till it engulfs the entire mankind in itself. He stresses that living or dying are equally important. One need not think it to be lucky to live and become gloomy at the thought of death. He says that Death is a transformation into a different state of being, so one need not be dejected by the idea of death. He says that self is just not something “contain’d between my hat and boots.” He wants the ‘self’ to expand and identify with the ‘manifold objects’ in the Universe. It should become whatever it sees. It exists with the living.

      He gives himself as an example in the study of self. He clarifies, that his ‘self’ is not connected to any one place on the Earth. His ‘self’ belongs to the sky, to the Earth. He likes the men, the women, the young and the old. All are equally mysterious, immortal and important. The human kind may not be aware of it, but he, being a poet, is conscious of it.

      The latter half of the section elaborates on mankind who are dear to the poet. They may be boys, men, women, old maids, the rich, the poor, the good and the bad. He is a companion to the people belonging to all walks of life. All are equal and important to him. The ‘self’ of Whitman, becomes an onlooker sharing the experiences in life. The self embraces everything in the Universe. This is the beginning of the mystical journey of the poet. The journey begins with the self-observing life, and the mystic touch commences when the ‘self’ transcends the earthly bounds.

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