Study Guide

Song of Myself Section 28

By Walt Whitman

Section 28

  • 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.