Egyptian Myth and Whitman's "Lilacs"



Uses the Egyptian myth of Osiris as the basis for a sustained reading of "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" and gives an account of the myth "as found in Whitman's Egyptian sources, principally Sir John Gardner Wilkinson," contending that the "Osiris myth with its obvious analogues to Lincoln, its inherent symbolism of regeneration, and its significance of the dead subject providing new life for the nation supplied Whitman with a mediating body of myth well suited to the situation of Lincoln's death."


How to Cite: Gates, R. L. (1987) “Egyptian Myth and Whitman's "Lilacs"”, Walt Whitman Quarterly Review. 5(1). doi: