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I Sing the Body Electric (Walt Whitman) UNIT 6 - part of lesson E
Touch a word or the <play> button for sound
Click on a word or on the <play> button for sound
Click on a word or on the red <play> button for sound

This is a piece of theatrical performance based on a fragment of a poem by Walt Witman published in the middle of the 19th century, "I Sing the Body Electric", mixed with other sentences and used hear to denounce the degradation of fellow humans through slavery or war.

Get ready to hear lots and lots of body parts, some of them so specific that only doctors talk about them. But you relax and simply try to make a list with all the words you can identify, and then check your notes with the transcription.

And when he opened the first seal, I Heard:

Head, neck, hair, ears, eyes, eye fringes, iris of the eye, eyebrows, mouth, tongue, lips, teeth, roof of the mouth, jaws and the jaw-hinges, nose, nostrils of the nose and the partition, cheeks, temples, forehead, chin, throat, back of the neck, neck-slue, strong shoulders, manly beard, scapula.

Back of the neck, strong shoulders, do you hear me? Strong shoulders, manly beard, scapula. Ladies and gentlemen, do I hear: hind-shoulders, and the ample side-round of the chest,
Wrist and wrist-joints.
[hey, I’m on it]
Yes sir, wrist and wrist-joints. Hand, knuckles, thumb, forefinger, finger-balls, finger-joints, finger-nails.
[Ooh, I like that one]
Yes, sir. Probably you have the best. Breast-bone, breast-side, ribs, belly, backbone, hips, man-++, man-++. Ooh, that’s a strong set of thighs, well carrying the trunk above.
[++++]
Leg-fibers, knee, upper-leg, under-leg, Do you hear me? Going, going, going, stop!

Nose, nostrils of the nose...
- Water poured over the nose and mouth
...and the partition, cheeks, temples, forehead, chin, throat, back of the neck, neck-slue...
- Collar around the neck to bang the head and body against the wall.
…strong shoulders…
- Perforated shoulder.
manly beard…
- Forced shaving of the head and beard.
…scapula, hind-shoulders, and the ample side-round of the chest. Upper-arm, armpit, elbow-socket, lower-arm, arm-sinews, arm-bones, wrist and wrist-joints.

2:59            
 
 

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