Manly Love: Whitman, Ginsberg, Monette

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IN PLATO’S Symposium, Phædrus maintains that love is the quality “most powerful to assist men in the acquisition of merit and happiness, both here and hereafter.” In gay American love poetry, one does find happiness, even in a world determined to undermine all expression of joyous gay union. We find renegade love poems and those about settling down with one life partner. Recently we see poems delineating the many challenges of interracial gay relationships. And we find, as Assoto Saint reminds us in The Road Before Us: 100 Gay Black Poets, “sensual pæans to defiant sex and love in the era of AIDS.”

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