I sing the Body Electric

In 1846, McClure, struck a deal with Whitman and hire him editor for this Newspaper “The Crescent”, even furnish him traveling expense to visit New Orleans. The city was full of color and excitement, although exotic in nature, it also comes with horrors especially slavery, then dehumanizing event almost occur every day.  It was common to see huckster’s. Poet experiences the slave auction and what he later incorporated in the poem “I sing the Body Electric”.

Here Whitman motive establish the interconnectedness of body and soul, the body is elaborated with generative attributes, implying democracy force. In line ten

That of the male is perfect and that of the female is perfect”

These bodies are not of one race, but of all the races.

The lines in Section four

There is something in staying close to men and women and looking

on them, and in the contact and odor of them, that pleases the soul well,

All things please the soul, but these please the soul well.

Reveals the generosity towards them something of “sacred Status”, Whitman is praising them with divine status “A Divine Nimbus”.

The women is being elaborated with the status of reproduction, this is well revealed in section “fifth and sixth”, where the lines “the gates of body, the gates of soul” is well elaboration of literal meaning.

The man figure is associated with action, deeds covering generations in section three

I knew a man, a common farmer, the father of five sons,

  And in them the fathers of sons, and in them the fathers of sons.

But in section eight the lines; reveals the pains of slave trade.

 A woman’s body at auction,

  She too is not only herself, she is the teeming mother of mothers,

  She is the bearer of them that shall grow and be mates to the mothers.

The poem can be associated with varied meanings, which can be erotic and spiritual experience.


About Walt Whitman

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