Chanting the Square Deific

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Walt Whitman (1819—1892) American poet

Albery Allson Whitman (1851—1901)


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Poem by Whitman, published in the Sequel to Drum-Taps (1865–66) and added to the 1867 edition of Leaves of Grass.

This expression of Whitman's religious thought is presented in four stanzas, each dealing with an aspect of the deity. The first side of the square deific is Jehovah, or the relentless, inexorable laws of nature. The second is Christ, the affectionate “consolator.” The third is Satan, the spirit of individual freedom in opposition to the omnipotent. The fourth is the feminine Santa Spirita, the soul which mystically pervades all, giving direction and form to the divine energies.

Subjects: Literature.

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