I guess I've been aware of Walt Whitman as an American national icon since I was at university, and I have long admired the title of what I suppose to be his most famous poem, I Sing the Body Electric.
However, somehow, I had never got around to reading the poem and now that I finally have, I can see - or perhaps better, feel - its appeal immediately. It's probably all been said many times before, much more profoundly, and studied and dissected, but the words do indeed crackle with electricity, with vitality, with what Robert Pirsig called in Lila, "Dynamic Quality".
This is simply a celebration of connecting, of being alive.
|"Examine these limbs, red, black, or white—they are so cunning in tendon and nerve;|
|They shall be stript, that you may see them.|
|Exquisite senses, life-lit eyes, pluck, volition,|
|Flakes of breast-muscle, pliant back-bone and neck, flesh not flabby, good-sized arms and legs,||105|
|And wonders within there yet.|
|Within there runs blood,|
|The same old blood!|
|The same red-running blood!|
|There swells and jets a heart - there all passions, desires, reachings, aspirations..."|