References to Homosexuality in Walt Whitman's Song of Myself

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References to Homosexuality in Walt Whitman's Song of Myself

"WHITMAN WAS MORE MAN THAN YOU'LL EVER BE," said a student of Louisiana State University. When asked questions of your sexual preference or thoughts on the issue of sex, I would venture to say it makes most people uncomfortable. This is an age-old topic that people know about, yet do not want to talk about. He was particularly reticent about his issues regarding sex and his particular sexual preference. In fact, of Whitman's struggles the most difficult for him to deal with was his ever so strong homosexual desires (Hubbell 283). Whether homosexuality is right or wrong is not for me to decide. Though I feel it should not be used so explicitly in works of …show more content…

Section 11 reflects on a woman standing behind her blinds and imagining intercourse with a band of young men swimming in the river below. This is an obvious depiction of the poet's world as he sees it. Whitman, in his works, dramatizes the compulsion to define oneself according to one's sexuality. In his confession of homosexuality, it is an "obligatory act of speech which breaks the bonds of discretion or forgetfulness" (Killingworth 52). His biography makes it clear that Whitman dealt with his intimacies with men throughout his life. His relations were very "close and ardent." It was without a doubt his art that saved him by permitting him to express the troubled passions, which haunted him. His poetry was said to be a means of purification for him (Hubbell 284).

Ok. So those are the facts. Now let's examine "Song Of Myself" and Whitman with greater detail. There are several sections in this poem that enhance our knowledge on the stand Whitman is taking toward his body and sexuality. He begins in Section 4 with a reflection on the "Real Person". Or what he views as "Real." He states, "The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love." This stanza depicts Whitman's view on sexuality and on equality. He obviously, in this stanza shows no favoritism toward either gender. He is saying that he loves both equally regardless of any differences. He

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