A Woman Waits for Me
Skip to main content Walt Whitman Quarterly Review. My Account Policies About Home. Authors Steve Marsden. Abstract Examines Anne Gilchrist's education, her courtship with and marriage to Alexander Gilchrist, and her reading habits in order to analyze "the intersection of interpretation and fantasy, sex and religion, author and reader" that her response to Whitman's writings entails; works toward identifying "the change triggered by her interaction with Whitman's book," which prompted what she called a "new birth. How can you furnish health you blood of herbs, roots, orchards, grain?
Are they not continually putting distemper'd corpses within you? Is not every continent work'd over and over with sour dead? Where have you disposed of their carcasses? Those drunkards and gluttons of so many generations?
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Where have you drawn off all the foul liquid and meat? I do not see any of it upon you to-day, or perhaps I am deceiv'd, I will run a furrow with my plough, I will press my spade through the sod and turn it up underneath, I am sure I shall expose some of the foul meat.
A Woman Waits For Me - Poem by Walt Whitman
Perhaps every mite has once form'd part of a sick person—yet behold! The grass of spring covers the prairies, The bean bursts noiselessly through the mould in the garden, The delicate spear of the onion pierces upward, The apple-buds cluster together on the apple-branches, The resurrection of the wheat appears with pale visage out of its graves, The tinge awakes over the willow-tree and the mulberry-tree, The he-birds carol mornings and evenings while the she-birds sit on their nests, The young of poultry break through the hatch'd eggs, The new-born of animals appear, the calf is dropt from the cow, the colt from the mare, Out of its little hill faithfully rise the potato's dark green leaves, Out of its hill rises the yellow maize-stalk, the lilacs bloom in the dooryards, The summer growth is innocent and disdainful above all those strata of sour dead.
What chemistry! Now I am terrified at the Earth, it is that calm and patient, It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions, It turns harmless and stainless on its axis, with such endless successions of diseas'd corpses, It distills such exquisite winds out of such infused fetor, It renews with such unwitting looks its prodigal, annual, sumptuous crops, It gives such divine materials to men, and accepts such leavings from them at last.
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History never lets us forget the feminine discourse. Hence, the discourse will go on to a time infinite. To take feminism as a matter of discussion there are two points to remember: on the one hand there is subjugation and on the other hand, feminine voices. As I have already discussed earlier that feminism is a matter of discourse, we are not starting any new discussion here; rather; we are also flowing with the same course of the stream.
For it needs little skill in psychology to be sure that a highly gifted girl who had tried to use her gift for poetry would have been so thwarted and hindered by other people, so tortured and pulled asunder by her own contrary instincts, that she must have lost her health and sanity to a certainty.
The contrary which Woolf referred as the contrary to women may invite more than one implications. Does she really mean men as contrary to women, or women as contrary to the individuality of another woman? Because in the binary opposition men is always on the other side of women. Historically, male chauvinistic society has always tried to degenerate the position of women. They have suppressed feminine voice and made them the powerless group.
Today also many instances show the brutality and narrowness of male domination in many places. Women voice is still very mute.
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But the change of time has somewhat improved their position. They are much more vocal than the previous ages. In many fields it has been shown how women characters are deprived by their male counterparts. My argument on this point is that, are men only situated on the binary opposition to women? The difference is present from the beginning. I have used capital W to represent the powerful group who dominate the powerless group of women. This powerless group is the subject of domination in the hands of both men and women.
And on the other hand, the powerful group of Women is also the subject o f domination, but these women are dominated by only men. Hence, among women some are doubly dominated. Following Derridian neologism difference man and woman in the first binary is not only differing but deferring or receding also.
In the practical world, women have always tried to get freedom from this slavery. There is the relatively straightforward road of retention of the original mother- attachment, which will probably emerge as later lesbianism; or an undisguised penis-envy in the emulation of male pursuits Behind everyone there is a woman—the mother, both for the boy and the girl, the man and the woman. Or, as Freud preferred to put it, bisexuality is stronger in women tha n in men—because the little girl has two love objects, her mother and then her father, the little boy only one.
Therefore, after so much discourse, theoretically and practically women are still powerless in spite of with arms! Burqa cannot free them from domination. Hence, the term empowerment and the sense attached to it have no importance in such cases. Though Mohanty has put women in two different groups or categories as Western and the third world women both subjectively and objectively, it is not restricted to only these two groups.
Historically women have always posited as object to the subject men who dominate them. Hence, the objectification of subject does not leave men also from being object.
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Irrespective of gender every human being is objectified as soon as they become subject. That is to say, it is not about him that you have to speak to him, for he can do this himself, and therefore, it is not even to you that he speaks. If it is to him that you have to speak, it is literally of something else, that is, of something other than that which is in question when he speaks of himself, and which is the thing that speaks to you, a thing which, whatever he says, would remain forever inaccessible to him.