Calamus: The Roots of Manly Love

Exploring the Roots The “Calamus” section in Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass is named after the calamus plant (Acorus calamus), also known as “sweet flag,” which grows in wetlands and is similar to a cat-tail. Many scholars and critics have noted that the floral spadix has a decidedly phallic appearance, but of greater significance to Whitman were the plant’s “pink-tinged […]