There is so much to learn from Whitman’s long lines. I reread “Song of Myself”over and over again. I admire his masterful use of breath and phrasing, how he is able to control the speed of a long poem by occasionally offering a short respite, as well as make emphatic yawps with strong beats. The rich, erotic imagery, coupled with sonic playfulness, thronged with flora and fauna and people of different races and classes brilliantly represent the power of a burgeoning democratic nation.
One of my favorite lines is this one:
Echos, ripples, and buzzed whispers… loveroot, silkthread, crotch and vine
Two strong trochees, relaxed and slowed by two iambs, then continuing on with two more strong trochees!
Yes, indeed, this erotic passage is unforgettable!