Thursday, January 18, 2007

Behaviour Lawless As Snowflakes

I do realize that this quote is one from a previous week (last week), but I didn't get around to posting something that I felt worthy in time for the end of the week. In spite of that, I'd still like to post it, just so that I can keep a record for myself of the works that we've read throughout the quarter.

English 48B
Dr. Scott Lankford
Author I Chose: Walt Whitman

From "Leaves of Grass [Song of Myself]"

I. "Behaviour lawless as snow-flakes...words simple as grass...uncombed head and laughter and naivete..."

II. Walt Whitman is describing himself as he imagines others, including students who admire him, might view him.

III. Whitman appears to view most people around him as students of his to some degree. In a previous stanza, he says "Eleves I salute you. I see the approach of your numberless gangs...I see you understand yourselves and me." Whitman seems to be addressing admirers of his work. He is describing himself, both as he views his own image and as these admirers view him. The students/admirers would be intelligent enough to understand that though he is almost bear-like, he is a man who is simplistic and loving. He is a kindrid soul. He acts out in funny, peculiar ways that only someone of his own ilk could truly understand. He uses simple, beautiful phrases to tickle the ear. His appearance can be somewhat offsetting as his dissheveled hair and rumpled clothing are not alway appropriate attire. His "laughter and naivete" are the best part of him, however. He oozes these qualities in his writing. He is so child-like and yet so thoughtful. He is a man of complexities that one must take the time to understand. Once you can "figure him out," he really is just a simple, loving person. "Song of Myself" is a reflection of all of these contrasting beautiful qualities.


Scott said...

you're right...I can't give you points. Oh postings, lawless as snowflakes!