Whalt Whitman

Posted: July 18th, 2021

A word often associated with Walt Whitman is “abundance.” For Whitman, less isn’t more. More is more. He’s never content with just one example. Why not twenty or even thirty? Look at “Song of Myself,” for example. He spins out long lines that tumble one after the other, piling image upon image. He loves long lists that sometimes seem like they’ll never end. He takes great pains to include all kinds of people (all ages, races, classes, genders, professions, temperaments, etc.), in all kinds of situations. What is he up to here? Why, in your opinion, does he attempt to pile up so much of everything, even at the risk of boring or exasperating his readers? Some people say it’s his way of celebrating democracy or America. How exactly would that work?

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