So the whole Bukowski plan of action fell through, new topic!!!
In my paper I will be discussing the connection the importance of the body in the works of Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg. I want to depict the important influence that Whitman had on the works of Ginsberg in refection of the human body and the many connotations that it holds for both poets. There are several ways the body peers into each of the poets works. There is how it appears in a sexual context, the subjective body, and views on the body as a sanctuary.
Whitman opened the door for many homosexual poets to explore the realm of homosexual sensuality, something that Ginsberg runs with and illustrates very openly. In his poems, such as “Love Poem on a Theme by Whitman” and “Please Master”, he approaches sex in an almost pornographically explicit way. He feels this exposure is necessary for liberating inter fantasies and exposing the readers mind I will discuss how this is an extension of Whitman’s work and also how it contrasts it.
There is also the role in which the body take on a more political and metaphoric role. Whitman’s body seems to transcend itself and represent a certain sense of democracy. He believes we are all connected and all belong to the body of America, which is stressed in “Song of Myself”, who title hints to personal refection but the content is largely revolved around other people. The body also provided for Whitman a chance to critic the civil war, largely by portraying a physical form that it wounded or sick as we see in several of his “Drum Tap” poems. Ginsberg also carries with him varied array of political messages through his descriptions of the physical form which I will discuss more thoroughly in my paper.
Both poets feel strongly about the physical body being a spiritual thing. Ginsberg’s feelings of nakedness seem like an almost religious and sublime cleansing process. He felt the frankness and honesty in a naked body helped purify the mind and soul. This openness and extreme honesty is seen again and again in his works. Whitman’s feelings on the physical body as being a sacred and deeply religious thing that he celebrates. He also felt that the hygiene and the health were very important, for if your cathedral is not healthy, your soul will not be healthy—so there is a great stress on hygiene and fitness in his works.