Not having much luck Id thought Id try one more time

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In Leaves of Grass, he celebrated democracy, nature, love, and friendship. This monumental work chanted praises to the body as well as to the soul, and found beauty and Video Home All Videos. Podcasts Home All Podcasts. Newsletter Subscribe.

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Poetry Foundation. Back to. Song of the Open Road. By Walt Whitman. Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road. 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.

Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms. I do not want the constellations any nearer. I know they suffice for those who belong to them. 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. You road I enter upon and look around, I believe you are not all that is here.

Here the profound lesson of reception, nor preference nor denial. The early market-man, the hearse, the moving of furniture into the town, the return back from the town. They pass, I also pass, any thing passes, none can be interdicted. None but are accepted, none but shall be 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 roides! I believe you are latent with unseen existences, you are so dear to me. You ferries! You rows of houses! You porches and entrances! You windows whose transparent shells might expose so much! You gray stones of interminable pavements!

From the living and the dead 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. The cheerful voice of the public road, the gay fresh sentiment of the road. O highway I travel, do you say to me Do not leave me? Do you say Venture not—if you leave me you are lost?

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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. I think I could stop here myself and do miracles. I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and whoever beholds me shall like me. Going where I list, my own master total and absolute. Listening to others, considering well what they say. Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating. Gently,but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.

The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine. I can repeat over to men and women You have done such good to me I would do the same to you. I will scatter myself among men and women as I go. I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them. 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. 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. Such a 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. Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof.

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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.

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Now I re-examine 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 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. Where is he who tears off the husks for you and me? Where is he that undoes stratagems and envelopes for you and me? Do you know what it is as you pass to be loved by strangers? Do you know the talk of those turning eye-balls?

These yearnings why are they? Why are there men and women that while they are nigh me the sunlight expands my blood?

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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? 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? 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.

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. Toward it heaves the shuddering longing ache of contact. Traveling with me you find what never tires.

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The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first, Nature is rude and incomprehensible at first. I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell. However sweet these laid-up stores, however convenient this dwelling we cannot remain here. However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us we are permitted to receive it but a little while.

We will go where winds blow, waves dash, and the Yankee clipper speeds by under full sail. Health, defiance, gayety, self-esteem, curiosity. From your formules, O bat-eyed and materialistic priests. The stale cadaver blocks up the passage—the burial waits no longer.

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. I and mine do not convince by arguments, similes, rhymes. I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes. You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve. 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.

They too are on the road—they are the swift and majestic men—they are the greatest women.

Not having much luck Id thought Id try one more time

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Song of the Open Road