For Whitman, celebrating the body became a celebration of the democratic spirit of his new America:Yes, yes, and yes.
The man's body is sacred and the woman's body is sacred,
No matter who it is, it is sacred—is it the meanest one in the
Is it one of the dull-faced immigrants just landed on the wharf?
Each belongs here or anywhere just as much as the well-off, just as
much as you,
Each has his or her place in the procession.
Poems about the body are often poems of celebration and awe, poems that delight in the body's mysteries, its "dream of flesh" says Mark Strand, poems that wonder at the body's remarkable capabilities—the hands, bones, face, eyes, brain, arms, genitals, and, of course, the heart, that "ragtime jubilee," as Yusef Komunyakaa calls it.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
The Academy of American Poets has a great feature up about poetry of the body. And of course my beloved Whitman is invoked: