Summary and Analysis: Children of Adam
As Adam Early in the Morning
The poet feels as if he is Adam as he walks forth in the morning after a refreshing sleep. He asks the reader to look at him and to touch him without fear: "Touch me, touch the palm of your hand to my body as I pass,/Be not afraid of my body."
This, the concluding poem of Children of Adam, contains the central thought of Whitman in this group, that Adam continually returns to the earth in the shape of modem man. He is aware of the beauty, strength, and vitality of his body. The central verb in this poem is "touch," which is a means of sensory perception, sexual enjoyment, and spiritual fulfillment. There is an image of Christ in this Adam — his touch contains the promise of healing diseased society. The poet appeals to the reader to listen to him as he expounds his message of joyous, natural sex.