Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Whitman: Who degrades or defiles (7 days to DR. BIRD)

In my novel Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets, the main character's name is James Whitman. He's not related to the poet, but it's one of those great things about life that sometimes the connections that seem obvious are the ones that will help the most. In fact, I didn't include James's discovery of the poet in the novel itself, but did write a short story that helps explain his initial reaction to Whitman's beautifully meandering poetry. Regardless, we don't need to know James's full experience of Whitman, just that he's decided to use Whitman as part of his self-therapy cocktail. The imaginary Dr. Bird, Whitman, photography, poem writing, and friends all contribute to keeping James afloat. But they are not enough.

Who degrades or defiles the living human body is cursed. 
Who degrades or defiles the body of the dead is not more cursed.

"the living human body"