Whitman uses it metaphorically, beautifully, in the phrase "a kelson of the creation is love". For more of a context, it features in a short essay on Whitman by the American poet Robert Hass, to be found here.
A line of timber placed inside a ship along the floor-timbers and parallel with the keel, to which it is bolted, so as to fasten the floor-timbers and the keel together. [OED]
Sunday, 18 March 2012
Kelson / Keelson
I was on Friday night introduced to a new word by the poet Martyn Crucefix. That word was 'kelson'. Martyn got it from Walt Whitman's Song of Myself. 'Kelson' means