"winders of the circuit of circuits"

Andrea Morrow aandrea1234 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 28 18:09:00 UTC 2008

A couple of instances of "circuit of circuits" from a few decades after
Whitman wrote "Song of Myself":

"O my soul, I have given thee new names and gay-coloured playthings, I have
called thee 'Fate' and 'the Circuit of circuits' and 'the navel-string of
time' and 'the Azure bell.'"
from Thus Spake Zarathustra, Friedrich Neitzche 1880s

"…[Nature], however, never remains entirely or eternally determined and
fixed into any permanent and unalterably persistent reality as such, but is
forever in a continual course of change and flow, ever returning out of its
special and particular realizations, in a circuit of circuits, into the
absolute unity, fullness, and allness of the universality…"
from Realistic Idealism in Philosophy Itself, Nathaniel Holmes 1888

The quotations above suggest a linking of the phrase with the spiritual or
metaphysical, but as someone else has said, "Song of Myself" is poetry, so I
doubt there is one fixed meaning for the phrase.  It's more both/and than
either/or, especially with Whitman.

On Sun, Dec 28, 2008 at 11:54 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: "winders of the circuit of circuits"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 12/28/2008 09:47 AM, Stephen Goranson wrote:
> >Song of Myself
> >My sun has his sun, and round him obediently wheels ; He joins, with his
> >partners, a group of superior circuit ; And greater sets follow, making
> specks
> >of ...
> This could be consistent with my supposition of the clockwork of the
> universe.
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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