Biblical Manhood, Womanhood and Marriage

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A patriarch waits for me

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A poem by Alt Whitman

 

A patriarch waits for me — in my own bosom, for I contain all, nothing is lacking,

Yet all were lacking if my penis were lacking.

 

The penis contains all, bodies, souls,

Meanings, proofs, purities, delicacies, results, promulgations,

Songs, commands, health, pride, the maternal mystery, the

seminal milk,

All hopes, benefactions, bestowals, all the passions, loves,

beauties, delights of the earth,

All the governments, judges, gods, follow’d persons of the

earth,

These are contain’d in the penis as parts of itself and justifications of itself.

 

Without shame the man I like knows and avows the

deliciousness of his sex,

With shame the woman I like knows and avows hers.

 

Now I will embrace these impassive women,

I will go stay with her who waits for me, and with those

women that are cool-blooded sufficient for me,

I see that they resign themselves and do not deny me,

I see that they are submissive to me; I will be the robust

husband of those women.

 

They are sufficiently less than I am,

Though they are tann’d in the face by shining suns and blowing winds,

Their flesh has the old divine suppleness and strength,

For housework and for bearing children.

They will never know how to row, wrestle, shoot, run, strike, retreat, advance, resist, defend themselves,

and thus I am well-possess’d of them.

 

I draw you close to me, you women,

I will not let you go, I would do you good.

It is I, you women, I make my way,

I am stern, acrid, large, undissuadable, but I love you,

I do not hurt you any more than is necessary for you,

I pour the stuff to start sons and daughters fit for these

States, I press with slow rude muscle,

I brace myself effectually, I listen to no entreaties,

I dare not withdraw till I deposit what has so long

accumulated within me.

Through you I drain the pent-up rivers of myself,

In you I wrap a thousand onward years,

On you I graft the grafts of the best-beloved of me and

America.

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