[5] I believe in you my soul, the other I am must not abase itself to you (from Song of Myself)

by Walt Whitman


Original Language English

I believe in you my soul, the other I am must not abase itself to you,
And you must not be abased to the other.
Loaf with me on the grass, loose the stop from your throat,
Not words, not music or rhyme I want, not custom or lecture, not even the best,
Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice.
I mind how once we lay such a transparent summer morning,
How you settled your head athwart my hips, and gently turned over upon me,
And parted the shirt from my bosom bone, and plunged your tongue to my bare-stripped heart,
And reached till you felt my beard, and reached till you held my feet.
Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth,
And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own,
And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own,
And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers,
And that a kelson of the creation is love,
And limitless are leaves stiff or drooping in the fields,
And brown ants in the little wells beneath them,
And mossy scabs of the worm fence, heaped stones, elder, mullein and pokeweed.

-- from Song of Myself, by Walt Whitman

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Whitman has this wonderful, lusty, even erotic way of writing in order to free the sacred experience from the dust-caked shelves of religious propriety.

But, make no mistake, he is not simply using flowery words to describe an afternoon daliance when he writes --

"And parted the shirt from my bosom bone, and plunged your tongue to my bare-stripped heart"

This is the way of the experience. The heart is naked, unhidden, and it is...touched. Then, all at once, you are overwhelmed with the sense that everything is whole, connected, one, and at peace.



Recommended Books: Walt Whitman

The Oxford Book of Mystical Verse Song of Myself Leaves of Grass Dead Poets Society (DVD)





5] I believe in you