Animals
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  • 1. • I think I could turn and live with animals, they are • So Placid and self – Contain’ d • I Stand and look at them long and long.
  • 2. • The poet sees that human beings suffer from many faults they lack in many virtues. The poet doesn’t find their company enjoyable. Then he looks at animals. He sees that animals have many virtues that men lack so badly .He sees that animals remain calm and quiet .Animals are self-contained and don’t depend on the company of others. These qualities of animals fill the poet with wonder. He stands near them and keeps looking at them for a long, long time
  • 3. • They do not sweat and whine about their condition, • They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins, • They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God.
  • 4. • Comparing animals with human beings, the poet says that animals don’t remain in a state of anxiety they don’t grumble over their condition. They don’t spend their nights lying awake. They don’t have to weep over their sins in the dark. Animals don’t commit any sins. So they don’t have to weep in the dark. They don’t have to lie awake at night. Usually people keep talking about their duty to God. But they forget all about their duty to God’s beings. Such a talk makes the poet sick. He says that animals don’t indulge in such hypocritical talk.
  • 5. • Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, • Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago, • Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth. •
  • 6. Continuing with the comparison between animals and men, Whitman says that not even a single animal is dissatisfied with its condition. On the contrary, every man remains forever dissatisfied and unhappy. There is not a single animal that is mad with the mania of owning things. But every man is mad in the race of possessing material things. No animal has to kneel or bow to another. No one has to kneel before those of their kind who had lived thousands of years ago. And there is no animal who is sad or unhappy over the whole earth. No one is regretful because they have not committed any wrong or sin.
  • 7. So they show their relations to me and I accept them, They bring me tokens of myself, they evince them plainly in their possession. I wonder where they get those tokens, Did I pass that way huge times ago and negligently drop them?
  • 8. The poet sees that animals have the same qualities that he has. Like him, they too look happy, calm and contented . There is much in the poet that corresponds with the nature of animals. He says that he had perhaps passed that way a long time back and dropped some of his tokens The animals picked those tokens and kept them in there possession. The poet means to say that he shares with animals their simplicity, innocence and contentment.