A Political Companion to Walt Whitman (Political Companions by John E. Seery

By John E. Seery

The works of Walt Whitman were defined as masculine, female, postcolonial, homoerotic, city, natural, specific, and democratic, but arguments concerning the volume to which Whitman may possibly or may be thought of a political poet have not begun to be absolutely faced. a few students put out of your mind Whitman's figuring out of democracy, insisting on keeping apart his own works from his political works. A Political significant other to Walt Whitman is the 1st full-length exploration of Whitman's works throughout the lens of political idea. Editor John E. Seery and a suite of well-known theorists and philosophers discover the political wisdom of Whitman's poetry and prose, examining his religion within the strength of people, his demand a revolution in literature and political tradition, and his trust within the risk of mixing heroic individualism with democratic justice. A Political better half to Walt Whitman reaches past literature into political thought, revealing the ideology in the back of Whitman's demand the emergence of yankee poets of democracy.

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What, then, is the self, insofar as it is not a synonym for the whole individual? In “Pioneers! ” he says: I too with my soul and body, We, a curious trio. From this verse and others, I would infer that the self (the I, the ego) is active self-consciousness and disciplined creative energy. It is a purely secular category that Whitman does not want us to confuse with soul, especially in its religious sense. The self does its great work when it observes its soul and Whitman and the Culture of Democracy 25 body as from a distance and exploits the faculty of speech to tell as much of the truth as possible about them.

It seems to be untouched by experience, and it survives death to find numberless incarnations. For me, the Whitman that matters is the one who believes in the secular soul, not the one who fancies he believes in the religious soul (toward which he does sometimes turn a skeptical glance). ” Whitman sometimes speaks dualistically of the soul and the body. He means to proclaim that the rights of the body are as sacred as those of the soul. ” When he does this, he is defying those whose religious conception of the soul is more conventional than Whitman’s own and who associate the body with sin and damnation.

This democratic poem, like all of 22 George K ateb Whitman’s best work, is immensely difficult; it is only barely accessible. ”) perfectly suits “Song of Myself”: O little shells, so curious-convolute, so limpid-cold and voiceless, .................................................. Your tidings old, yet ever new and untranslatable. And if “Song of Myself” said—like any great work—unexpected things in its time, it remains—like any great work—altogether unexpected. So let us try to see what “Song of Myself” teaches.

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