Posted on September 15th, 2009 at 8:27 pm by ginam
Whitman uses the term hieroglyphic once in “Song of Myself” in a section where he is examining the blade of grass. The Merriam Webster Dictionary presents two distinct definitions for the term: “Of, relating to, or being a system of writing, such as that of ancient Egypt, in which pictorial symbols are used to represent meaning or sounds or a combination of meaning and sound” and “Difficult to read or decipher.” Both definitions seem to indicate the grass is symbolic to Whitman, yet he is unable to overcome the mystery surrounding the grass and the ultimate definition remains illusive.
Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass. New York, NY: Barnes and Noble, Inc., 1993.
http://iamjwal.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/egyptian-hieroglyphics-louvre.jpg JWAL: JWAL Blog Website, 2009.