In 1860, Walt Whitman published the groundbreaking third edition of Leaves of Grass, containing his most celebrated collection of homoerotic poems, called Calamus. In the Calamus poems, Whitman promotes and extolls what he refers to as the "manly love of comrades." As with all of his work, Whitman's example in the Calamus edition transformed the landscape of American poetry and continues to fascinate and inspire each new generation of artists.
For You, O Democracy
Come, I will make the continent indissoluble,
I will make the most splendid race the sun ever shone upon,
I will make divine magnetic lands,
With the love of comrades,
With the life-long love of comrades.
I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of America,
and along the shores of the great lakes, and all over the prairies,
I will make inseparable cities with their arms about each other's necks,
By the love of comrades,
By the manly love of comrades.
For you these from me, O Democracy, to serve you ma femme!
For you, for you I am trilling these songs.
The Hudson Guild now celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the Calamus Edition with a fantastic exhibition of 21 artists, including a rare unique print by Andy Warhol.
I'm pleased to have my painting I will plant companionship thick as trees ... (Calamus I) included in the show.
Please join me at the opening reception Thursday, April 15 from 6pm to 8pm at the Hudson Guild, 441 W. 26th Street, in Manhattan. Viewing hours for the show are Tuesdays-Fridays 10am to 7pm and Saturdays 1pm to 4pm. For more information about the show or the Hudson Guild, please call 212-760-9837.