Happy 190th Birthday
born this date in 1819
The male body and the male genitals are for Whitman a prime example of the act of suppression in the name of propriety. He will name them and praise them, locating them directly in the landscape of nature poetry:
Root of washed sweet-flag, timorous pond-snipe, nest of guarded duplicate eggs,it shall be you,
Mixed tussled hay of head and beard and brawn it shall be you;
Trickling sap of maple, fibre of manly wheat, it shall be you . . .
Winds whose soft-tickling genitals rub against me it shall be you,
Broad muscular fields, branches of liveoak, loving lounger in my winding paths, it shall be you,
Hands I have taken, face I have kissed, mortal I have ever touched, it shall be you.
("Song of Myself," ll. 535-543)