Walt Whitman: He Was a Liberator of People and Culture, Using a Liberated Poetic Form. (Articles)
Gambino, Richard, The Nation
In 1848, 29-year-old Walt Whitman was for three months a reporter for the Daily Crescent in New Orleans, writing fluff pieces about local color and charm as seen through Yankee eyes. But he also saw darker spectacles there--streetside auctions of slaves--and six years later put his emotions into ironic verse.
I help the auctioneer, the sloven does not half know his business... Have you ever loved the body of a woman? Have you ever loved the body of a man? Do you not see that these are exactly the same to all in all nations and times all over the earth? If any thing is sacred the human body is sacred.
When he returned to New York, he became the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Freeman, the nation's foremost voice of the Free Soil movement, whose motto was, "Free soil, free labor, free men!" He continued his advocacy of the movement, because of which, just before going to New Orleans, he had been fired as editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. But intimacy with those in the movement had its effect. Whitman came to hate, on the one side, the abolitionists for their fanaticism, most of which went into infighting among themselves, and on the other, the hypocritical and corrupt men of the Democratic Party, all of them "born freedom sellers of the earth." He resigned from the Freeman, despondent. His faith …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Walt Whitman: He Was a Liberator of People and Culture, Using a Liberated Poetic Form. (Articles). Contributors: Gambino, Richard - Author. Magazine title: The Nation. Volume: 277. Issue: 3 Publication date: July 21, 2003. Page number: 14. © 1999 The Nation Company L.P. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.