Just another Looking for Whitman weblog

Song of Jennica

Filed under: Song of Myself — jenny and walt at 6:10 pm on Thursday, September 3, 2009

Song of Jenny

I am of old and young, of the foolish as much as the wise,

Regardless of others, ever regardful of others,

Maternal as well as paternal, a child as well as a [wo]man,

Stuff’d with the stuff that is coarse and stuff’d with the stuff

that is fine,

One of the nation of many nations, the smallest the same

and the largest the same,

– Whitman “Song of Myself” [16]

The moment I read the first lines, I am of old and young, I felt something shoot up into me. Though turning twenty-two is just around the corner, I often feel disconnected from my age. Often times, I feel like I’m twelve. Other times, I feel thirty. Or perhaps even forty. The day I turned five, I have been my mother’s living diary. My mother, a small Korean woman who merely made the mistake of obliviously following a man into a country she never even dreamed of, had lived her earlier marriage days drawing white clouds on white walls. She had once told me that if she didn’t have me to talk to, she would’ve been painting white clouds in her mind before she had even hit her thirties. I have never regretted her making me into her living diary. However as everything in life as its pros and cons, my situation showed its two facets. Though I was able to taste the realities of life earlier than the rest of my peers, I had also lost a good portion of my childhood. However, that didn’t mean that I was completely a mature adult either: I am of old and young, of the foolish as much as the wise. This is because I was still my age. As I grew older, while my father wasn’t around as he should’ve been, I became her daughter, friend, mother, father and husband. At an early age, I realized that I had to be the father of my younger sister, and the husband of my mother. Apparently, I became Maternal as well as paternal, a child as well as a [wo]man.

Today, I try to balance myself according to what’s appropriate for my age. But I still feel like I’m stuck in between two of everything– even nationalities. Though I was born in America, due to my very-Korean parents, I can be very Korean as well. Sometimes it’s hard to decipher whether I belong in America or Korea. I am of old and young…One of the nation of many nations, the smallest the same / and the largest the same…

This was the Song of Me. The Song of Jenny. The Song of Jennica. The Song of a Girl-In-Search-Of-Herself.



Comment by eunilao

September 7, 2009 @ 11:46 pm

I have the same feeling as you….
It is not easy to balance !!


Comment by taraw

September 8, 2009 @ 3:25 pm

Nicely done – Great writing – great connections – a pleasure to read!


Comment by Carol Singley

September 9, 2009 @ 7:18 am

Dear Jennica,
Beautiful sentiments about Whitman and age–or should I say agelessness? I’m thinking also of writings about the soul: the soul may be wise and old; the body young, or vice versa. Opposites are often exclusionary, but in Whitman’s writing they’re not–he welcomes and embraces them.


Comment by Carol Singley

September 9, 2009 @ 7:19 am

A riveting, lovely photograph. I like your metaphor: “a living diary.”


Comment by nadiae

September 17, 2009 @ 4:43 pm

i like how its really related to life!


Comment by jenny and walt

September 17, 2009 @ 5:00 pm

thanks! : ) it was a fun assignment lol.


Comment by janices

September 23, 2009 @ 9:02 pm

Really like all three of your blogs. Love the honesty of the song of myself one. It was not what I was expecting to read. When I read the section of the poem and connected it to the picture of you and the little boy I expected you to compare the poem to the photograph. I pleasant surprise. Thank you for sharing such a meaningful piece of yourself.

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