My Body Electric

I read Walt Whitman’s “The Body Electric” and will never think about the body the same again. He uses diction to vividly describe the woman’s and man’s body. Honestly, it gives me a fresh view of the human body, because it expresses each person’s freedom. Our body is ours to take care of and value. It is the sanctuary for one’s daily tasks and to show. I see this poem reflecting on how people use and express their bodies today. Of course, people have a lot more tattoos and piercings to express their body compared to when Whitman wrote this. Nonetheless, people express individualism with what they do with their body and how they treat it. “The sprawl and the fulness of babes the bosoms and heads of women” (Whitman). Whitman must have conducted serious observation of people’s bodies before writing this poem in such detail, particularly woman. In the poem, he expresses the love and freedom between people by describing parts of the body and their importance to those people. “They did not love him by allowance, they loved him with personal love.” To me the words “personal love” alludes to using individual choice to love someone, like someone loving their body, because it is theirs to love. This way it is unconditional love.

In addition, I like how Whitman shows the nature of life through his details of the body. “This the nucleus-after the child is born of woman, man is born of woman. This the bath of birth, this the merge of small and large and the outlet again” (Whitman). He paints a beautiful description how life goes in a circle, woman producing man and the man living because of the woman’s capable body.  This poem is Whitman’s expression of the human body as a symbol of a person’s freedom and its importance to everyone’ and to life itself. It is sacred to both man and woman, uniquely.

Whitman, Walt. “I Sing the Body Electric.” Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 11

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