1. Discuss the merits of Parker and Helms's arguments. Consider the rhetoric of these arguments; the editorial principles at stake; the sexual politics at issue.

2. What are the range of possible reasons why Whitman did not publish "Live Oak, with Moss"? Helms argues that homophobia is the primary reason why Whitman, after 1860, never again "wrote frankly about men loving men." Are there other possible reasons besides homophobia? Is it it possible, for example, that Whitman's fulfilling relationship with Peter Doyle made him less moved to write a poetry marked by the anguish of unsatisfied love?

3. In "Commentary," Hershel Parker says: "Attention needs to be focused on the imperfection of Whitman's efforts to revise the 'Live Oak' poems and place them in the 1860 'Calamus' cluster." Do you agree with Parker in finding the "Live Oak" sequence "coherent" and the 1860 "Calamus" poems less so? Do you agree with Parker that "imperfection" characterizes Whitman's effort to revise "Live Oak"? If so, in what ways do individual "Live Oak" poems fail to work as free standing units within the 1860 Leaves or fail to work as part of the cluster of related poems "Calamus"?

4) Consider "Live Oak" V and VIII. These poems were included in the third edition of Leaves of Grass (1860) but were excluded in the fourth edition of 1867 and in all subsequent printings. Why might Whitman have banished these poems from his work?