Leaves of Grass Calamus: Summary and Analysis

Walt Whitman

Calamus: Summary and Analysis

In Paths Untrodden - Summary
The opening poem of the Calamus cluster in Leaves of Grass establishes what the collection will be about: affection between men. Whitman plainly declares that he is “Resolv’d to sing no songs to day but those of manly attachment.” Indeed, he identifies his specific subject matter as “all who are or have been young men,” and he intends to “celebrate the need of comrades.” The poem also establishes the difficulty of choosing such a subject; in order to do so, Whitman must find himself “Escaped from the life that exhibits itself, / From all stands hitherto publish’d.” He needs to think in a new and different way and find “standards not yet publish’d.” He...

(The entire section is 2397 words.)