Walt Whitman was a trailblazer, an independent individual. He was unafraid of backlash,
living for shock value whilst challenging society. In his poem “Song of Myself”, Whitman opened the blind eye (squeezed shut quite forcefully) of the heteronormative society to homosexuality in his less then accepting time period.
“Song of Myself” was revolutionary for his era. Birthed in an age where America was not yet leading in any form of art, but still feeding off of its old monarchic parent country. “Song of myself” was solely American, unknown and original, and considered to be our countries first epic poem. ‘Revolutionary’ is not a term used lightly, but describes the case and point perfectly.
Within section 11, Whitman speaks of 28 young men bathing by the shore, and a lonely young woman admiring them from the inners of her fine house. The woman in the poem then fantasizes about being with the men in the water. “Where are you off to, lady? for I see you,
You splash in the water there, yet stay stock still in your room”. It is believed, however, that Whitman was interpreting himself as the woman. This becomes more evident later in the stanza and the author goes into extensive detail, bordering erotic, whilst describing the scene; “The rest did not see her, but she saw them and loved them. The beards of the young men glisten'd with wet, it ran from their long hair, Little streams pass'd all over their bodies. An unseen hand also pass'd over their bodies, It descended tremblingly from their temples and ribs.”, this passage speaks of a trembling, unseen hand. This hand is also, once...