"...the stuff to start sons and daughters..."
Whew, that Whitman sure was a lusty beast.
It is I, you women, I make my way,
I am stern, acrid, large, undissuadable, but I love you,
I do not hurt you any more than is necessary for you,
I pour the stuff to start sons and daughters fit for these States,
I press with slow rude muscle,
I brace myself effectually, I listen to no entreaties,
I dare not withdraw till I deposit what has so long accumulated within me.
Reading many similar passages in Leaves of Grass, I doubt that "stuff" ever accumulated within him for very long, but instead was regularly disposed of, one way or another, together or alone.
One of my professors referred to Whitman as "pansexual." I think that about covers it.
Posted by: beth at Jul 30, 2010 9:48:08 AM
If that means "anything that moves", I think you're right. At one point he fantasizes about populating an entire civilization, presumably with thousands or millions of appreciative female partners. Ambitious guy.
Posted by: Pete at Jul 30, 2010 3:50:45 PM