Analysis: Sex Rating
Exactly how steamy is this poem?
Whitman is a coy fellow: he's great at talking about sex without seeming to talk about it. Everything is just gossip: no wonder fellow poet Emily Dickinson didn't read him because she had "heard" he was disgraceful. In "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," for example, what are those "curious abrupt questions" that "stir" within him (Section 13)? And what about those "hot wishes [he] dared not speak"? (Section 16) Although Whitman was a poet who wasn't afraid of the body, he wasn't one to kiss and tell, either.