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Word Count: 1,371
There is no fear of mistake That is what Walt Whitman wrote in the last few lines of his preface to Leaves of Grass He was referring to the idea that nothing can be considered wrong if it is an idea born in the imagination People in general have this great fear that they might do or say something wrong especially if it is an unordinary idea or thought They way we protect ourselves from being criticized or berated is to simply conform to conventional and widespread ideas Whitman implores us to strike out instead and be what Emerson calls Man Thinking Whitman himself is man thinking simply because he dared to take the road less traveled His works were thought to be too unorthodox and disgraceful Yet it did not stop him He wrote for the common man and he rejected him Still Whitman remains one of the most respected authors in America simply because he went out on the limb alone and sung the song of his world Tony Perry wrote and article in the Los Angeles Times on Whitmans reemergence after the ClintonLewinsky controversy arose Many people clambered to get their hands on his works because of the amount of sexually suggestive material To our society he probably seemed a bit tame compared to the pages of smut readers go through on a daily basis However in his time he was seen as shameful and dirty Many people refused to read his work because of the implied sexuality But as Perry mentioned in his article Whitman never wrote of detailed sexual acts or even made specific reference to the body in a sexual nature While many people were blushing behind the pages of his books other saw this as pure genius Whitman unlike any other writer of the time and possibly of our time could find the words to describe an act so primal in nature or a body with many imperfections
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