BEGINNING my studies, the first step pleas’d me so much,
The mere fact, consciousness—these forms—the power of motion,
The least insect or animal—the senses—eyesight—love;
The first step, I say, aw’d me and pleas’d me so much,
I have hardly gone, and hardly wish’d to go, any farther,
But stop and loiter all the time, to sing it in extatic songs.
I believe this is Whitman explaining that moment in life when everything is new…maybe very young adolescence – when we are all students of the world. When everything amazes us…awes us. When I’m observing my 3 year old niece and how easily (yet very happily) amazed and awe she gets when learning something new, I am reminded of this poem. It’s that time when happiness is staring at an ant on a flower and wondering what its doing.
Whitman is obviously estatic about an eye-opening event, a time in his life, (probably) when he discovered the beautyand majesty in and of LIFE
I loved this poem! It expresses the love he had for his studies because I believe he realized studying moves you forward and makes you knowledgeable and encourages you to love studying and not be forced to do it!
very inspirational from a writer’s point of view.
very very good poem