The Last Invocation: by Walt Whitman - Summary & Analysis

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At the last, tenderly,
From the walls of the powerful fortress’d house,
From the clasp of the knitted locks, from the keep of the well closed doors,
Let me be wafted.
Let me glide noiselessly forth;
With the key of softness unlock the locks-with a whisper,
Set ope the doors O soul.
Tenderly-be not impatient,
(Strong is your hold O mortal flesh,
Strong is your hold O love.)


      Summary. The Last Invocation is a very short poem of ten short lines. As the title indicates, the poet considers this as his death wish. He invokes the soul to open the doors of the powerful fortressed house - the body.

      The poet wants himself to be wafted from the keep of the well-closed doors of the physical body. The soul must glide forth noiselessly. Hence the soul must sever its connection with the body as tenderly as possible. There should not be any impatience. In spite of the fact that the hold of the mortal flesh on the body is strong, in spite of the fact that love has a strong attachment to the worldly functions, the soul should endeavor to detach itself from the body for the fulfillment of the ultimate aim in life.

      Critical Analysis. Human ties and human attachment are too strong to allow a severance from the world without keen effort. Since death is universally inevitable there is no meaning in our fidgeting about it. We should not be melancholic when the occasion comes to bid good-bye to the love that binds us to the world. Although the poet hints at his pensive sadness in quitting the world, he resigns himself to the inevitable fate.

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