famous poetry
| Famous Poetry | Roleplay | Free Video Tutorials | Online Poetry Club | Free Education | Best of Youtube | Ear Training

Song Of The Open Road Analysis



Author: Poetry of Walt Whitman Type: Poetry Views: 1973

Sponsored Links







AFOOT and light-hearted, I take to the open road,

Healthy, free, the world before me,

The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.



Henceforth I ask not good-fortune--I myself am good fortune;

Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,

Strong and content, I travel the open road.



The earth--that is sufficient;

I do not want the constellations any nearer;

I know they are very well where they are;

I know they suffice for those who belong to them.10



(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens;

I carry them, men and women--I carry them with me wherever I go;

I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them;

I am fill'd with them, and I will fill them in return.)





You road I enter upon and look around! I believe you are not all that

is here;

I believe that much unseen is also here.



Here the profound lesson of reception, neither preference or denial;

The black with his woolly head, the felon, the diseas'd, the

illiterate person, are not denied;

The birth, the hasting after the physician, the beggar's tramp, the

drunkard's stagger, the laughing party of mechanics,

The escaped youth, the rich person's carriage, the fop, the eloping

couple,20

The early market-man, the hearse, the moving of furniture into the

town, the return back from the town,

They pass--I also pass--anything passes--none can be interdicted;

None but are accepted--none but are dear to me.





You air that serves me with breath to speak!

You objects that call from diffusion my meanings, and give them

shape!

You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers!

You paths worn in the irregular hollows by the roadsides!

I think you are latent with unseen existences--you are so dear to me.



You flagg'd walks of the cities! you strong curbs at the edges!

You ferries! you planks and posts of wharves! you timber-lined sides!

you distant ships!30

You rows of houses! you window-pierc'd façades! you roofs!

You porches and entrances! you copings and iron guards!

You windows whose transparent shells might expose so much!

You doors and ascending steps! you arches!

You gray stones of interminable pavements! you trodden crossings!

From all that has been near you, I believe you have imparted to

yourselves, and now would impart the same secretly to me;

From the living and the dead I think you have peopled your impassive

surfaces, and the spirits thereof would be evident and amicable

with me.





The earth expanding right hand and left hand,

The picture alive, every part in its best light,

The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it is not

wanted,40

The cheerful voice of the public road--the gay fresh sentiment of the

road.



O highway I travel! O public road! do you say to me, Do not leave me?

Do you say, Venture not? If you leave me, you are lost?

Do you say, I am already prepared--I am well-beaten and undenied--

adhere to me?



O public road! I say back, I am not afraid to leave you--yet I love

you;

You express me better than I can express myself;

You shall be more to me than my poem.



I think heroic deeds were all conceiv'd in the open air, and all

great poems also;

I think I could stop here myself, and do miracles;

(My judgments, thoughts, I henceforth try by the open air, the

road;)50

I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and whoever

beholds me shall like me;

I think whoever I see must be happy.





From this hour, freedom!

From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines,

Going where I list, my own master, total and absolute,

Listening to others, and considering well what they say,

Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,

Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that

would hold me.



I inhale great draughts of space;

The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are

mine.60



I am larger, better than I thought;

I did not know I held so much goodness.



All seems beautiful to me;

I can repeat over to men and women, You have done such good to me, I

would do the same to you.



I will recruit for myself and you as I go;

I will scatter myself among men and women as I go;

I will toss the new gladness and roughness among them;

Whoever denies me, it shall not trouble me;

Whoever accepts me, he or she shall be blessed, and shall bless me.





Now if a thousand perfect men were to appear, it would not amaze

me;70

Now if a thousand beautiful forms of women appear'd, it would not

astonish me.



Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons,

It is to grow in the open air, and to eat and sleep with the earth.



Here a great personal deed has room;

A great deed seizes upon the hearts of the whole race of men,

Its effusion of strength and will overwhelms law, and mocks all

authority and all argument against it.



Here is the test of wisdom;

Wisdom is not finally tested in schools;

Wisdom cannot be pass'd from one having it, to another not having it;

Wisdom is of the Soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own

proof,80

Applies to all stages and objects and qualities, and is content,

Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the

excellence of things;

Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes

it out of the Soul.



Now I reëxamine philosophies and religions,

They may prove well in lecture-rooms, yet not prove at all under the

spacious clouds, and along the landscape and flowing currents.



Here is realization;

Here is a man tallied--he realizes here what he has in him;

The past, the future, majesty, love--if they are vacant of you, you

are vacant of them.



Only the kernel of every object nourishes;

Where is he who tears off the husks for you and me?90

Where is he that undoes stratagems and envelopes for you and me?



Here is adhesiveness--it is not previously fashion'd--it is apropos;

Do you know what it is, as you pass, to be loved by strangers?

Do you know the talk of those turning eye-balls?





Here is the efflux of the Soul;

The efflux of the Soul comes from within, through embower'd gates,

ever provoking questions:

These yearnings, why are they? These thoughts in the darkness, why

are they?

Why are there men and women that while they are nigh me, the sun-

light expands my blood?

Why, when they leave me, do my pennants of joy sink flat and lank?

Why are there trees I never walk under, but large and melodious

thoughts descend upon me?100

(I think they hang there winter and summer on those trees, and always

drop fruit as I pass;)

What is it I interchange so suddenly with strangers?

What with some driver, as I ride on the seat by his side?

What with some fisherman, drawing his seine by the shore, as I walk

by, and pause?

What gives me to be free to a woman's or man's good-will? What gives

them to be free to mine?





The efflux of the Soul is happiness--here is happiness;

I think it pervades the open air, waiting at all times;

Now it flows unto us--we are rightly charged.



Here rises the fluid and attaching character;

The fluid and attaching character is the freshness and sweetness of

man and woman;110

(The herbs of the morning sprout no fresher and sweeter every day out

of the roots of themselves, than it sprouts fresh and sweet

continually out of itself.)



Toward the fluid and attaching character exudes the sweat of the love

of young and old;

From it falls distill'd the charm that mocks beauty and attainments;

Toward it heaves the shuddering longing ache of contact.





Allons! whoever you are, come travel with me!

Traveling with me, you find what never tires.



The earth never tires;

The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first--Nature is rude

and incomprehensible at first;

Be not discouraged--keep on--there are divine things, well envelop'd;

I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can

tell.120



Allons! we must not stop here!

However sweet these laid-up stores--however convenient this dwelling,

we cannot remain here;

However shelter'd this port, and however calm these waters, we must

not anchor here;

However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us, we are permitted

to receive it but a little while.





Allons! the inducements shall be greater;

We will sail pathless and wild seas;

We will go where winds blow, waves dash, and the Yankee clipper

speeds by under full sail.



Allons! with power, liberty, the earth, the elements!

Health, defiance, gayety, self-esteem, curiosity;

Allons! from all formules!130

From your formules, O bat-eyed and materialistic priests!



The stale cadaver blocks up the passage--the burial waits no longer.



Allons! yet take warning!

He traveling with me needs the best blood, thews, endurance;

None may come to the trial, till he or she bring courage and health.



Come not here if you have already spent the best of yourself;

Only those may come, who come in sweet and determin'd bodies;

No diseas'd person--no rum-drinker or venereal taint is permitted

here.



I and mine do not convince by arguments, similes, rhymes;

We convince by our presence.140





Listen! I will be honest with you;

I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes;

These are the days that must happen to you:



You shall not heap up what is call'd riches,

You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve,

You but arrive at the city to which you were destin'd--you hardly

settle yourself to satisfaction, before you are call'd by an

irresistible call to depart,

You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings of those who

remain behind you;

What beckonings of love you receive, you shall only answer with

passionate kisses of parting,

You shall not allow the hold of those who spread their reach'd hands

toward you.





Allons! after the GREAT COMPANIONS! and to belong to them!150

They too are on the road! they are the swift and majestic men; they

are the greatest women.

Over that which hinder'd them--over that which retarded--passing

impediments large or small,

Committers of crimes, committers of many beautiful virtues,

Enjoyers of calms of seas, and storms of seas,

Sailors of many a ship, walkers of many a mile of land,

Habitués of many distant countries, habitués of far-distant dwellings,

Trusters of men and women, observers of cities, solitary toilers,

Pausers and contemplators of tufts, blossoms, shells of the shore,

Dancers at wedding-dances, kissers of brides, tender helpers of

children, bearers of children,

Soldiers of revolts, standers by gaping graves, lowerers down of

coffins,160

Journeyers over consecutive seasons, over the years--the curious

years, each emerging from that which preceded it,

Journeyers as with companions, namely, their own diverse phases,

Forth-steppers from the latent unrealized baby-days,

Journeyers gayly with their own youth--Journeyers with their bearded

and well-grain'd manhood,

Journeyers with their womanhood, ample, unsurpass'd, content,

Journeyers with their own sublime old age of manhood or womanhood,

Old age, calm, expanded, broad with the haughty breadth of the

universe,

Old age, flowing free with the delicious near-by freedom of death.





Allons! to that which is endless, as it was beginningless,

To undergo much, tramps of days, rests of nights,170

To merge all in the travel they tend to, and the days and nights they

tend to,

Again to merge them in the start of superior journeys;

To see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it and pass it,

To conceive no time, however distant, but what you may reach it and

pass it,

To look up or down no road but it stretches and waits for you--

however long, but it stretches and waits for you;

To see no being, not God's or any, but you also go thither,

To see no possession but you may possess it--enjoying all without

labor or purchase--abstracting the feast, yet not abstracting

one particle of it;

To take the best of the farmer's farm and the rich man's elegant

villa, and the chaste blessings of the well-married couple, and

the fruits of orchards and flowers of gardens,

To take to your use out of the compact cities as you pass through,

To carry buildings and streets with you afterward wherever you

go,180

To gather the minds of men out of their brains as you encounter

them--to gather the love out of their hearts,

To take your lovers on the road with you, for all that you leave them

behind you,

To know the universe itself as a road--as many roads--as roads for

traveling souls.





The Soul travels;

The body does not travel as much as the soul;

The body has just as great a work as the soul, and parts away at last

for the journeys of the soul.



All parts away for the progress of souls;

All religion, all solid things, arts, governments,--all that was or

is apparent upon this globe or any globe, falls into niches and

corners before the procession of Souls along the grand roads of

the universe.



Of the progress of the souls of men and women along the grand roads

of the universe, all other progress is the needed emblem and

sustenance.



Forever alive, forever forward,190

Stately, solemn, sad, withdrawn, baffled, mad, turbulent, feeble,

dissatisfied,

Desperate, proud, fond, sick, accepted by men, rejected by men,

They go! they go! I know that they go, but I know not where they go;

But I know that they go toward the best--toward something great.





Allons! whoever you are! come forth!

You must not stay sleeping and dallying there in the house, though

you built it, or though it has been built for you.



Allons! out of the dark confinement!

It is useless to protest--I know all, and expose it.



Behold, through you as bad as the rest,

Through the laughter, dancing, dining, supping, of people,200

Inside of dresses and ornaments, inside of those wash'd and trimm'd

faces,

Behold a secret silent loathing and despair.



No husband, no wife, no friend, trusted to hear the confession;

Another self, a duplicate of every one, skulking and hiding it goes,

Formless and wordless through the streets of the cities, polite and

bland in the parlors,

In the cars of rail-roads, in steamboats, in the public assembly,

Home to the houses of men and women, at the table, in the bed-room,

everywhere,

Smartly attired, countenance smiling, form upright, death under the

breast-bones, hell under the skull-bones,

Under the broadcloth and gloves, under the ribbons and artificial

flowers,

Keeping fair with the customs, speaking not a syllable of itself, 210

Speaking of anything else, but never of itself.





Allons! through struggles and wars!

The goal that was named cannot be countermanded.



Have the past struggles succeeded?

What has succeeded? yourself? your nation? nature?

Now understand me well--It is provided in the essence of things, that

from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth

something to make a greater struggle necessary.



My call is the call of battle--I nourish active rebellion;

He going with me must go well arm'd;

He going with me goes often with spare diet, poverty, angry enemies,

desertions.





Allons! the road is before us!220

It is safe--I have tried it--my own feet have tried it well.



Allons! be not detain'd!

Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen'd!

Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn'd!

Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!

Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge expound the law.



Mon enfant! I give you my hand!

I give you my love, more precious than money,

I give you myself, before preaching or law;

Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?230

Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?












Sponsor



Learn to Play Songs by Ear: Ear Training

122 Free Video Tutorials

[Video Tutorial] How to build google chrome extensions

Please add me on youtube. I make free educational video tutorials on youtube such as Basic HTML and CSS.

Free Online Education from Top Universities

Yes! It's true. Online College Education is now free!



||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

There have been no submitted criqiques, be the first to add one below.


Post your Analysis




Message

Free Online Education from Top Universities

Yes! It's true. College Education is now free!







Most common keywords

Song Of The Open Road Analysis Walt Whitman critical analysis of poem, review school overview. Analysis of the poem. literary terms. Definition terms. Why did he use? short summary describing. Song Of The Open Road Analysis Walt Whitman Characters archetypes. Sparknotes bookrags the meaning summary overview critique of explanation pinkmonkey. Quick fast explanatory summary. pinkmonkey free cliffnotes cliffnotes ebook pdf doc file essay summary literary terms analysis professional definition summary synopsis sinopsis interpretation critique Song Of The Open Road Analysis Walt Whitman itunes audio book mp4 mp3 mit ocw Online Education homework forum help



Poetry 4
Poetry 68
Poetry 51
Poetry 20
Poetry 105
Poetry 58
Poetry 108
Poetry 33
Poetry 138
Poetry 176
Poetry 122
Poetry 157
Poetry 13
Poetry 138
Poetry 168
Poetry 52
Poetry 193
Poetry 213
Poetry 212
Poetry 154