Section 28 Summary
Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.
- This section contains the famous "crisis" in which Whitman seems to be under attack from himself. Some critics think this section is about masturbation.
- At any rate, he feels that the power of "touch" has gotten way out of hand (no pun intended).
- This passage is filled with sexually suggestive phrases like "treacherous tip of me," "stiffening my limbs," "red marauder," and "I went myself first to the headland . . . my own hands carried me there."
- He feels suffocated by his sense of touch, which overpowers him and creates an enormous release of energy.
- Let's face it: it's hard not to read the end of this section as a veiled reference to orgasm and ejaculation.
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