• The opening lines of the poem prepare the reader for what lies ahead: "I celebrate myself, and sing myself, / And what I assume you shall assume, / For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you."
• This introduces the universal "I," sets the celebratory tone, and foreshadows the themes of equality, nature, and goodness.
• As Whitman the man is born of the earth and the air, Whitman the poet is emerging as himself, as the poem itself.
• In Section 2, the poet exalts the beauty of nature, writing, "The atmosphere is not a perfume, it has no taste of the distillation, it is odorless, / It is for my mouth forever, I am in love with it."
• Whitman expresses the miracle of the body and its functions while the soul rejoices in its existence on earth.
• Whitman then claims that the reader can "possess the origin of...
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