Essay on Religion in Walt Whitman's Literature

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Religion in Walt Whitman's Literature



"Why should I pray? Why should I venerate and be ceremonious?……I find no sweeter fat than sticks to my own bones." (pg 40)Nature and all of her wondrous facets, especially the human body, was Whitman's religion. Walt Whitman was indeed an intensely spiritual man in his own unconventional way. His epic classic "Song of Myself" demonstrates these attitudes of his, and in his view how the proverbial "poet" of his America should believe. Humanity yearns for spiritual fulfillment and Whitman believed that everything around us and even ourselves were walking testaments to what true ethereal life is.
One of the reasons that Walt Whitman was so popular, was his lax treatment of such taboo subjects as
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"Smile O voluptuous cool-breath'd earth, Earth of the slumbering and liquid tress, earth of the departed sunset-
earth of the mountainous misty-topt, earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon just tinged with blue…" (pg. 42)
Whitman celebrates his love for the earth as one who has a conventional religion celebrates their love for what they believe in. All aspects are sacred of mother earth in the eyes of the poet, as are all facets of belief in the heart of a conventional religious person. Whitman express how great this love is that he feels for his planet by expressing himself unworthy of such greatness. " Prodigal, you have given me love- therefore I to you give love, O unspeakable passionate love." (pg. 42)
Whitman blatantly expresses himself almost to the point of being stale on how much the earth means to him. Looking past the
almost cornieness of this statement, some very powerful messages can be derived from it. Mother earth to the poet, is loved more then words

themselves can even express. This is such a powerful statement in this epic poem, because it expresses the reader that no matter how much the American poet should right he can never truly say what he wants to. Again, another blatant example of one of the many contradictions in the poetry of Whitman. He calls out everyone to express themselves on their true unequivocal loves, yet here he admits that no one is really worthy enough to…