Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Song of Myself: from Section 24

A passage from Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
  • Walt Whitman, a kosmos, of Manhattan the son,
  • Turbulent, fleshy, sensual, eating, drinking and breeding,
  • No sentimentalist, no stander above men and women or apart from them,
  • No more modest than immodest.  
  • Unscrew the locks from the doors!
  • Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!
  • Whoever degrades another degrades me,
  • And whatever is done or said returns at last to me.  
  • Through me the afflatus surging and surging, through me the current and index.  
  • I speak the password primeval, I give the sign of democracy,
  • By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have their counterpart of on the same terms.
  • Through me many long dumb voices,
  • Voices of the interminable generations of prisoners and slaves,
  • Voices of the diseased and despairing and of thieves and dwarfs,
  • Voices of cycles of preparation and accretion,
  • And of the threads that connect the stars, and of wombs and of the father-stuff,
  • And of the rights of them the others are down upon,
  • Of the deformed, trivial, flat, foolish, despised,
  • Fog in the air, beetles rolling balls of dung.  
  • Through me forbidden voices,
  • Voices of sexes and lusts, voices veiled and I remove the veil,
  • Voices indecent by me clarified and transfigured.  
  • I do not press my fingers across my mouth,
  • I keep as delicate around the bowels as around the head and heart,
  • Copulation is no more rank to me than death is.
  • I believe in the flesh and the appetites,
  • Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle.
  •  Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or
  •          am touched from,
  • The scent of these arm-pits aroma finer than prayer,
  • This head more than churches, bibles, and all the creeds.

Walt Whitman (1819–1892) published “Song of Myself,” his towering masterpiece, in the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass, a book that he published at his own expense. But in the first several editions of that book it remained untitled. For the fourth (1867) edition, the poem was divided into 52 numbered sections and in the final edition of 1881, it was given the title “Song of Myself.” This passage is the first half of section 24 of that poem. In 1882, the district attorney of Boston threatened to ban Leaves of Grass for violating the state’s obscenity laws. Among the poems to which he particularly objected was “Song of Myself.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Stuck between two cuisines

Sushi vs BBQ
Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
  • Walt Whitman, a kosmos, of Manhattan the son,
  • Turbulent, fleshy, sensual, eating, drinking and breeding,
  • No sentimentalist, no stander above men and women or apart from them,
  • No more modest than immodest.  
  • Unscrew the locks from the doors!
  • Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!
  • Whoever degrades another degrades me,
  • And whatever is done or said returns at last to me.  
  • Through me the afflatus surging and surging, through me the current and index.  
  • I speak the password primeval, I give the sign of democracy,
  • By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have their counterpart of on the same terms.
  • Through me many long dumb voices,
  • Voices of the interminable generations of prisoners and slaves,
  • Voices of the diseased and despairing and of thieves and dwarfs,
  • Voices of cycles of preparation and accretion,
  • And of the threads that connect the stars, and of wombs and of the father-stuff,
  • And of the rights of them the others are down upon,
  • Of the deformed, trivial, flat, foolish, despised,
  • Fog in the air, beetles rolling balls of dung.  
  • Through me forbidden voices,
  • Voices of sexes and lusts, voices veiled and I remove the veil,
  • Voices indecent by me clarified and transfigured.  
  • I do not press my fingers across my mouth,
  • I keep as delicate around the bowels as around the head and heart,
  • Copulation is no more rank to me than death is.
  • I believe in the flesh and the appetites,
  • Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle.
  •  Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or
  •          am touched from,
  • The scent of these arm-pits aroma finer than prayer,
  • This head more than churches, bibles, and all the creeds.

Walt Whitman (1819–1892) published “Song of Myself,” his towering masterpiece, in the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass, a book that he published at his own expense. But in the first several editions of that book it remained untitled. For the fourth (1867) edition, the poem was divided into 52 numbered sections and in the final edition of 1881, it was given the title “Song of Myself.” This passage is the first half of section 24 of that poem. In 1882, the district attorney of Boston threatened to ban Leaves of Grass for violating the state’s obscenity laws. Among the poems to which he particularly objected was “Song of Myself.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Is Midway the new Soccer City?

Fresh chapter unfolds in San Diego's well-lobbied Sports Arena muddle
Next Article

Building paradise in San Diego

Mission Valley, Tijuana gardens, Otay Mesa, downtown skyscrapers, One Paseo, Rancho Santa Fe mansion
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close