BSEB Class 12 English Poem 2 Song of Myself Summary, Explanation, and Question Answers from Rainbow Book 

 
Song of Myself – BSEB Class 12 English Poem 2 Song of Myself Summary and detailed explanation of the poem along with meanings of difficult words. Also, the explanation is followed by the literary devices used in the Poem. All the exercises and Song of Myself Question Answers given at the back of the lesson have also been solved.

 

BSEB Class 12 English Rainbow Book Poem 2 – Song of Myself

By Walt Whitman

 

 
 

Song of Myself Introduction

 

The poem ‘Song of Myself’ written by Walt Whitman, was one of the best known and most influential poems ever written by an American. Walt Whitman had some radical ideas about America, democracy, spirituality, sexuality, nature and identity. He used ‘Song of Myself’ to explore these ideas while preaching self-knowledge, liberty and acceptance for all. ‘Song of Myself’ is not a poem with a clear plotline or a single point to make. Although Whitman has some distinct themes that come up over and over again, he was juggling so many ideas, characters, images and symbols all at once that reading this poem was like holding on to a runaway horse- you just have to let it take you where it will.
 
Top
 
 

Song of Myself Summary

 

This is an extract of the poem ‘Song of Myself‘ written by Walt Whitman. In this poem, the poet talked about himself. He enjoyed himself and sang for himself. He wanted his readers to know that he was not different from others. He wanted everyone to suppose or accept the truth that even the smallest particle of a chemical element that can exist in his body belonged to his soul. He wanted the readers to know that whatever he explained in the poem was the truth and it came from his heart. According to the poet, every atom that belonged to him belonged to every human being. He emphasized that two human beings were made of the same soil. The poet used to walk here and there and also invited his soul. He took support, moved and rested according to his comfort. He watched the spiky green grass in the summer that grew everywhere. He enjoyed nature. He even said that his tongue and every small particle of blood that he had in his body was formed by this grass and the air that everyone was living in. He explained how much he loved the world, especially nature, and how everything fits together just as it should.

He was born from his parents, they were born from their parents & their parents the same. The poet was 37 years old but still in very good health. He hoped to stay healthy and fit till his death.

The poet suspended all his religious beliefs and the system of thoughts. He was telling his readers to “retire” what they had learned in school- suspend your formal learning but never forget it. He felt that life was the finest gift given by God. The poet said that everyone should think that there is nothing in life. So, we should always be happy and try to make others happy. The poet said that he always believed in good or bad and he was ready for every danger in nature without checking with the original energy. The poet was ready for every danger in his life. He accepted that life was no bed of roses. It was full of difficulties but also, happiness.
 
Top
 
 

Video Explanation of Song of Myself

 

 
Top
 
 

Song of Myself Poem Explanation

 

I celebrate myself, and sing myself,

And what I assume you shall assume,

for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. 

Celebrate- rejoice, have a good time

Assume- accept that something is true, suppose

Atom- the smallest particle of a chemical element that can exist.

The poet Walt Whitman talked about himself and said that he always enjoyed himself, had a good time and he also sang for himself. He wanted his readers to know that he was not different from others. He wanted everyone to suppose or accept the truth that even the smallest particle of a chemical element that could exist in his body, belonged to his soul. Whatever he explained in the poem, he wanted his reader to know was the truth and came directly from his heart. According to the poet, every atom which belonged to him, belonged to every human being that existed and that, two human beings were made of the same soil.

 

I loafe and invite my soul,

I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air

loafe (old spelling): loaf (modern spelling), wander, walk or move in a leisurely or aimless way.

Lean- take support, rest

Spear- mast, spike, top point

The poet walked here and there and also invited his soul. He took support, moved and rested according to his comfort. He watched the spiky green grass in the summer that grew everywhere. He enjoyed nature alot. He even said that his tongue and every small particle of blood that he had in his body was formed by this grass and this air that everyone was living in. He explained how much he loved the world, especially nature, and how everything fits together just as it should.

 

Born here of parents, born here from parents the same, and their parents the same,

I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin. 

He was born from his parents, they were born from their parents & their parents the same. The poet was now 37 years old but still in very good health.

 

Hoping to cease not till death, 

Cease- come or bring to an end

The poet hoped that he could stay healthy and fit till his death.

 

Creeds and schools in abeyance,

Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten, 

Creeds-  religious beliefs

Schools- systems of thought

in abeyance- suspended, withheld

Sufficed- to be enough

The poet suspended the religious beliefs and the system of thoughts. He was telling his readers to “retire” what they had learned in school, to suspend their formal learning but never forget it. He felt that life was the finest gift given by God. The poet said that everyone should think that there is nothing in life. So, we should always be happy and try to make others happy.

 

I harbour for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,

Nature without check with original energy. 

Harbour- believe, keep feelings or thoughts in mind

hazard-peril, danger 

The poet explained that he always believed in good or bad and he was ready for every danger in nature which prevailed unrestricted with the original energy. The poet was ready to face every danger in his life. He accepted that life was no bed of roses. It was full of difficulties and also gave happiness.

 

Poetic/Literary Devices

Following poetic/literary devices have been used in the poem Song of Myself:

  1. Free verse- Free verse is the name given to poetry that doesn’t use any strict meter or rhyme scheme. Because it has no set meter, poems written in free verse can have lines of any length, from a single word to much longer.  The poet has used free verse which enables him to talk to his readers in a new way that is not constricted by rhyme or meter parameters.
  2. Metaphor-  Metaphor is a common poetic device where an object in, or the subject of, a poem is described as being the same as another otherwise unrelated object

The poet uses a metaphor in the poem, “I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass”, he is comparing the grass to “the beautiful uncut hair of graves.”

  1. Personification: Personification is giving human characteristics to animals or non-living things. Here in the poem example of personification is , “I loafe and invite my soul” where the soul is personified
  2. Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line. Example in the poem are, My tongue, every atom of my blood, formed from this soil, this air.
  3. Pun – ‘spear’ has a double meaning of a blade of grass and a weapon
  4. Hyperbole – the poet exaggerates when he says that every atom belonging to me belongs to you
  5. Anaphora – the repeated use of the same word at the start of two or more consecutive lines – 

I loafe and invite my soul,

I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass

8. Enjambment – when the same sentence continues to the next line without any punctuation mark at the end of the line.

I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air
 
Top
 
 

Song of Myself Question and Answer

Exercise

B.1. 1. Read the following sentences and write ‘T’ for true and `F’ for false statements :

a) The poet enjoys himself and sings for the self.

b) The speaker is different from others.

c) The poet discards nature’s beauty.

d) Every atom of blood is the same in all human beings.

e) The poet is associated with a particular school of thought.

f) The poet has overcome his greed.

 

Answer-

a) The poet enjoys himself and sings for the self. True

b) The speaker is different from others. True

c) The poet discards nature’s beauty. False

d) Every atom of blood is the same in all human beings. True

e) The poet is associated with a particular school of thought. True

f) The poet has overcome his greed. True

 

B.1. 2. Answer the following questions briefly:

1) Who is the speaker in this poem?

Answer-

Walt Whitman is the speaker in this poem.

 

2) How old is he?

Answer-

The poet Walt Whitman was thirty seven years old.

 

3) Why does the speaker use ‘you’ twice?

Answer-

The speaker used ‘you’ twice to press on a similarity of blood in all human beings.

 

4) What is meant by ‘Nature without check with original energy’?

Answer-

“Nature without check with original energy”,by this line the poet meant that he believed in good and bad aspects of life and he wanted to tell about every danger or fear, which he hoped to acquire through nature without checking unrestricted nature and original energy.

 

5) What is the theme of the poem?

Answer-

The theme of the poem ‘Song of Myself’ glorified the self, body, and soul. The poem wanted to emphasise on the idea of the self, the identification of the self with other selves, and the poet’s relationship with the elements of nature and the universe. 

 

6) How does the speaker establish relation between ‘me’ and ‘you’?

Answer-

The speaker established the relation between ‘me’ and you’ by saying ‘you’ and ‘me’ as equals because according to the poet every atom which  belonged to the poet (me) belonged to other human beings  (you) as well.

 

7) What does he observe in summer?

Answer-

He observed a spear of grass in summer. 

 

8) What has formed the speaker’s blood?

Answer-

Poet Walt Whitman was the speaker of the poem and his blood was formed from the soil, the air and the birthplace he was living in. 

 

9) What does he hope to do?

Answer-

The poet hoped that he could work for his entire life before death.

 

10) What does he want to do with creeds?

Answer-

He wanted to know the system of thoughts with creeds in abeyance.

 

11) What does he want to speak about? 

Answer-

The poet wanted to speak about living our lives at its best knowing all the things which could affect it by any means.

 

C.1. LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS

  1. Give a summary of the poem.

Answer-

‘Song of Myself‘ was a very nice poem written by Walt Whitman. In this poem, the poet talked about himself. He enjoyed himself and sang for himself. He wanted his readers to know that he was not different from others. He wanted everyone to suppose or accept the truth that even the smallest particle of a chemical element that can exist in his body belonged to his soul. Whatever he explained in the poem he wanted his reader to know was the truth and was coming from his heart. According to the poet, every atom belonged to him belonged to every human being. The two human beings were made of the same soil.The poet used to walk here and there and also invited his soul. He took support, moved and rested according to his comfort. He watched the spiky green grass in the summer that grew everywhere. He enjoyed nature. He even said that his tongue and every small particle of blood that he had in his body was formed by this grass and this air that everyone was living in. He explained how much he loved the world, especially nature, and how everything fits together just as it should.

He was born from his parents ,they were born from their parents & their parents the same . The poet was 37 years old but still in very good health. The poet hoped to stay healthy and fit till his death.

The poet suspended all his religious beliefs and the system of thoughts. He was telling his readers to “retire” what they had learned in school, suspend your formal learning but never forget them.He felt that life was the finest gift given by God. The poet said that everyone should think that there is nothing in life. So, we should always be happy and try to make others happy. The poet said that he always believed in good or bad and he was ready for every danger in nature without checking with the original energy. The poet was ready for every danger in his life. He accepted that life wass no bed of roses. It was full of difficulties and also happiness.

  1. What similarities does the poet draw between two human beings?

Answer-

The poet wanted to say that human beings were the same in many ways as they were born in similar ways. Their blood was the same. Everything was the same in all human beings. Humans were built of the same atom. These were the similarities which Walt Whitman drew between two human beings.

 

  1. Explain the line: ‘Hoping to cease not till death’

Answer-

The line ‘Hoping to cease not till death’ meant that the poet Walt Whitman had a hope not to stop until he died. The poet talked about various points of hope and dreams and he wanted to celebrate life before his death.

 

  1. Comment on the subjectivism (personal feeling) in the poem.

Answer-

The poem “Song of Myself’ is written by the poet Walt Whitman. He speaks about himself in this poem and he celebrates his existence in the poem. The poet thinks that everyone has just one life so we should enjoy our life rather than worrying about problems that can come in our lives.  He becomes very sad when he sees a human being quarreling with another human being only for religion. The poet suspended his religious beliefs and the system of thoughts. He even told his readers to “retire” what they had learned in school, to suspend their formal learning but never forget them. So this poem is a composition of personal feelings.

 

  1. Why does the poet not want to bother himself with ‘Creeds and schools’?

Answer-

The poet does not want to bother himself with ‘Creeds and schools’ because he thinks about religious tolerance.  His mind is quite free from this problem. He knows that there are different religious beliefs and systems of thoughts in the world. Still, he does not bother himself with it. He knows that everyone is the same in all condition.He even told his readers to “retire” what they had learned in school, to suspend their formal learning but never forget them.He felt that life was the finest gift given by God. The poet said that everyone should think that there is nothing in life. So, we should always be happy and try to make others happy.

 

  1. What does the poet mean by ‘Nature without check with original energy’? 

Answer-

The poet means to say, “nature without check with original energy”, that he believes in good and bad aspects of life and he favors to tell about every danger or fear, which he hopes to acquire through nature without checking unrestricted nature and original energy. The poet is ready for every danger in his life. He accepts that life is no bed of roses. It is full of difficulties and also happiness.

 

C. 3. COMPOSITION

Write a short essay in about 150 words on the following:

a. Religion does not teach hatred.

 

Answer-

Every individual does not belong to any religion, but immediately after their birth, they were linked to a particular religion. Different people had different beliefs. And due to this belief, many different cultures existed.Over the years rise in the number of ethnic violence erupting for no reasons was another testimony that our planet was rapidly turning into one huge isolating society. People from different caste, creed and religion seemed to have that hate factor deeply inculcated in them for the rest. Any religion which was truly for God would never teach anyone to hate others; rather religion always taught people to forgive, to be kind and to be fair even to those who were not good to you. One should try to have respect for other religions. All religions must be respected equally. Religion would never teach you to kill people of a different religion. We should regard every human being as our brother or sister.  People who fought with others in the name of their religion were not followers of their religion. No religion preached violence. If we want others to respect our religion we should also learn to respect others’ religion.

 

b. Life is a grand battle.

 

Answer-

Life is a battle. No matter how tough or easy a person’s life is, there is always a battle with life. Many times people feel the whole world is against them. There may be a lot of stress and internal conflict within everyone’s battle.There are 7 billion people on this planet and no matter how different we may be from one another we have one thing in common which is Fighting. Whether it is for survival, recognition or even love, we are fighting all the time. Some days we lose, some days we win. But all I know is that it is a never ending struggle. Whether we like it or not.  Truth which we all know, but don’t want to admit. We, as human beings, have the power to move mountains but at the same time be destroyed by the slightest ounce of weakness. I agree that man is a social animal and we all need each other. But being dependent on others won’t make your problems go away. So don’t give up easily. Don’t feel bad that you have to fight your fight all by yourself. Don’t be afraid to be left out alone because sometimes only when you are alone, you find yourself.

 

D. WORD STUDY

D.1. Dictionary Use

Ex.1. Look up a dictionary and write two meanings of the following words – the one in which it is used in the lesson and the other which is more common

 

assume observe form
cease school harbour 

 

Answer-

 

Assume

  1. Suppose
  2. Presume
Observe

  1. Notice
  2. See
Form

  1. Shape
  2. Structure
Cease-

  1. End
  2. Halt
School

  1. Educational institution
  2. Center of learning
Harbour

  1. Port
  2. Dock

 

D.2. Word-formation 

Read the following lines carefully:

Hoping to cease not till death

Retiring back a while  …………

 

In the above lines, ‘hoping’ and ‘retiring’ are derived by adding ‘-ing’ to ‘hope’ and ‘retire’ respectively.

Ex.1. Select five words from your day- to- day life and add the suffix ‘-ing’ to them to form new words. 

 

Answer-

Five words used in day-to-day life with suffix-’ing’ are as follows-

  1. Clean – Cleaning
  2. Write- Writing
  3. Sleep- Sleeping
  4. Cook- Cooking
  5. Drive- Driving

 

D.3. Word-meaning

Ex 1. Write the antonyms of the following words and use them in your sentences:

perfect ………….

cease

hope

permit

original 

 

Answer-

Antonyms of the following words are as follows-

  1. Perfect- Imperfect

Sentence- After misrepresenting herself on her resume, it was obvious to the company that she was really an imperfect candidate for the job

 

2. Cease- Starts

Sentence- The homemade garlic bread is a great start to any meal, as is an order of their calamari

 

3. Hope- Hopeless

           Sentence- We were the most hopeless group of golfers you ever saw. 

 

4. Permit- Refuse

Sentence- The town council had refused permission for the march. 

 

5. Original- Fake

          Sentence- A man from Liverpool has been given a suspended jail sentence after selling fake Bristol University degree certificates.

 

E. GRAMMAR

Ex. 1. Read the following line from the poem:

‘I celebrate myself, and sing myself’

In the given line ‘myself’ is a reflexive pronoun which has been used twice. Its usage in both the clauses is different. In the first clause, it is a reflexive pronoun, but in the second, it is object to a verb (‘sing’).

Supply related reflexive pronouns in the following list: 

 

Pronoun Reflexive Pronoun 
I ____________
We ____________
You ____________
They ____________
She ____________
He ____________
It ____________

 

Answer-

 

Pronoun Reflexive Pronoun 
I Myself
We Ourselves
You Yourself
They Themselves
She Herself
He Himself
It Itself

 

Ex. 2. Construct meaningful sentences with the help of the following verbs. Do not forget to use ‘reflexive pronouns’ after the verbs; for, these verbs are always followed by them:

enjoy

serve

absent

help

Control

 

Answer-

  1. Enjoy- We enjoy ourselves very much.
  2. Serve- Neha is happy to serve herself. 
  3. Absent- He got absent himself.
  4. Help- One should always help ourselves.
  5. Control- He has controlled himself.

 

Must ReadBSEB Class 12 English Notes, Explanation, Summary And Question Answers 
 
Top