Calamus Poets Society



The Calamus Poets Society derives its name from the Calamus Cluster of poems in the legendary volume of poetry Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.

Picture of Walt Whitman It is generally believed that Walt Whitman was a gay man. In his Calamus Cluster of poems, the subject manner is decidedly homoerotic, as in "We two boys together clinging, One the other never leaving..." One of the links below provides the complete text of the Calamus Cluster. We encourage you to read it for yourself and decide. Most gay men who read it easily identify with it's seeingly timeless themes relevant to our feelings today.

Picture of Calamus herb The Calamus herb (also known as the "Sweet Flag" with official name "Acorus Calamus") has been considered a homoerotic symbol since ancient times. Take a look at the picture here and you can see why. It derives it's name from a figure in Greek mythology, Kalamos, who turned into a reed out of grief for his young male lover Karpos who drowned. The Calamus herb also frequents pond and stream areas where closeted gay men of the nineteenth met clandestinely.

For more information, please see the following links to the Wikipedia:

Walt Whitman

The Calamus Custer of Poems from Leaves of Grass

Leaves of Grass (complete text)

Kalamos and Karpos from the Greek Mythology

Acorus Calamus (scientific information)

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