Singing Myself with Walt Whitman

blogging, illustration, literature, poetry

Excerpts from Walt Whitman 'Song of Myself'


Next project reveals itself as an epic.  There are parts of Walt Whitman’s marvelous poem that I want to record in one of my handmade books.

I have only just started compiling the extracts, it is an ongoing project which  I am going to thoroughly enjoy.  The illustrations are from botanical illustrations from 1821 by J.Th.Descourtilz.

Do you know Walt Whitman’ s poem and if you do, what does it mean to you?


8 thoughts on “Singing Myself with Walt Whitman

  1. I was just thinking of this poem recently. My favorite part is where he promises the reader the origin of all poems and that you’ll no longer take things at second hand. “You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me, / You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.” I interpret Whitman as saying that he’s not going to impart information so much as show us a new way of looking at the world, and then will turn us loose to look for ourselves.


    1. Great lines aren’t they? It took me some time to find Walt, as I am in UK , and he is not as known to us during school etc. I have found it a wonderful resource of inspiration, challenge and solace. What more could a poet do for a person!


      1. From what I understand of Whitman, I think that’s exactly how he hoped his work would be used. He wanted Leaves of Grass to become part of people’s lives, something they lived and not just read. He was grandiose in that way, but all these years later his best work still sounds fresh. He’s one of America’s best exports, so much better for the world than F-16s.


  2. It’s harder than you think to see things for yourself, everything is filtered by life circumstance, where and when and to whom you are born. I agree with the sentiment though. It’s an interesting task to read the poem, so how he felt writing it I have no idea. I only think we have been the richer for it. and poets following Whitman had a reference point that was valuable. Thanks for reading and commenting!!


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