Analysis Of Walt Whitman 's ' This Compost '

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Love in the Ground Walt Whitman’s poem “This Compost” utilizes incestuous allusions to communicate a mood of revulsion, that is at once wondering and terrified at the ability of Mother Earth and her humans to turn death and decaying forms into provisions for life. By forming an incsestous relationship with the natural world, Whitman displays his belief that a perverse relationship with the Earth is what yields the food that humans need to survive. Furthermore, he shows that human’s relationship to the Earth is unbounded by conventional morals like the taboo against incest. The speaker’s terror comes from the perverse, yet eternally loving relationship that other men seem to disregard with their need to waste and decay the natural gifts; given to them for their own industry and agriculture. The last stanza clearly displays the idea that the relationship between humans and the Earth is in one part maternal. One might argue that death is being celebrated in its ability to nurture the Earth 's processes, but the speaker is wondering at the Earth’s ability to “grows such sweet things out of such corruptions” (42). It is the Earth who is committing the “Sweet” actions, and not the humans. We are shown overtly that the Earth is the provider for humans. “It gives such divine materials to men, and accepts such leavings from them at last” (48, 49) Men are shown to be insolent in what they give back to the Earth, with this lines references of the corpses that they leave behind

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