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Whitman's Mystic Vision in "Song of the Broad-Axe"

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Authors
Czon, Seung-Gul
Issue Date
1983
Publisher
서울대학교 미국학연구소
Citation
미국학, Vol.6, pp. 89-102
Abstract
Walt Whitman has been labelled variously as poet of mysticism, poet of democracy, bard of America, or prophetic seer. "Song of the Broad-Axe" is one of the poems which show these multi-faceted Whitmanian attributes at their best. For the better understanding of this poem, therefore, it would be necessary for us to be equipped with a basic knowledge of some key concepts which are closely related to these attributes. First comes the concept of mysticism. Although Whitman seems at the first glance a poet who celebrates the physical world and emphasizes its significance, he is no less, if not more, deeply concerned with the spiritual world. What Whitman is ultimately aiming at is to bring the physical and the spiritual together into a balanced harmony and unite them in an all-inclusive whole. Therefore, in Whitman's mystical world there is a fusion of such seemingly opposite things as body and soul, the physical and the spiritual, Me and Not Me, which enables him to see one identity in everything. One characteristic of Whitman's mysticism is that it insists that nothing be subjugated to anything, spiritual or physical. As Martin S. Day indicates, "All that has been created shares a common origin in some amorphous substance -a reservoir out of which the material for the cosmos is derived and to which it will ultimately return to be born again.
ISSN
1229-4381
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/88397
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Researcher Institutes (연구소)American Studies Institute (미국학연구소)미국학미국학 Volume 06 (1983)
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