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Comparing Song Of Myself And I Sing The Body Electric

Decent Essays
As a result of superficial reading and skimming, Whitman’s genderless passion would merely be uniquely described nature. Consider this portion of “Song of Myself”

“You sea! I resign myself to you also… I guess what you mean,
I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me;
We must have a turn together…. I undress… hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft…. rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet…. I can repay you.” (Whitman, 47-48)

An inexperienced reader may assume that Whitman is infatuated with the existence of the ocean, which is not wrong. This passage is deeply personal to a love Whitman experienced or fantasied about. When one compare this to his 1855 “I Sing the Body Electric”’s description of loving a women, the reader discovers “Hair, bosom, hips, bend of legs, negligent falling hands— all diffused…. mine too diffused.” (Whitman, 121)
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Similarly, Walt Whitman embodies the readers by using “you” rather than “me.” In “I Sing the Body Electric”, “You would wish ling and long to be with him…. you would wish to sit by him in the boat that you and be might touch each other.” (Whitman, 120) Clearly, the gender of one of the active participant in this scene is revealed as male. However, the reader is free to assume the gender of “you.” These two trends are used, again, in “Song of Myself” when Whitman lustfully narrates

“Breast that presses against other breasts it shall be you,
My brain it shall be your occult convolutions,
Root of washed sweet flag, timorous pond snipe, nest of guarded duplicate eggs, it shall be
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