“[I]t is a word unsaid”
The Poet as a Namer in Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”
This study attempts to trace the aesthetic of the act of naming in Walt Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself”. It tries, furthermore, to approach America as a geo-poetic concept and formation in the earlier American poetics of being. The literary geography of Whitman’s poetry might here be measured against the poeticity of the American con(text) or poetic dwelling, with all the nuances of the question of identity being implicated. The poet as a namer is the one who re-invents his linguistic-poetic gear to re-signify his existence in the act of renaming the second creation. Building on the Emersonian pseudo-philosophical premises, the poet Whitman thus sets himself the task of mapping out his Eden, or this terra incognita, by creating his textual geography and by Whitmanizing the American scene for that matter.
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Whitman, Walt. 1959. Complete Poetry and Selected Prose. Edited by James E. Miller, Jr. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. All references to Whitman’s poetry and prose are taken from this edition.
Yoder, R.A. 1978. Emerson and the Orphic Poet in America. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
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