Read by Dave Luukkonen
Music by Tony Anderson
Walt Whitman is America’s world poet – a latter-day successor to Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Shakespeare, whose verse collection ‘Leaves of Grass’ marked a new era in the history of American literature.
Within Leaves of Grass, Whitman’s ‘Song of the Open Road’ engages with important themes of freedom, the self and nature.
The poem begins with the speaker setting out on a long brown path “Afoot and light-hearted,” for he is done with the routines, customs, and safe behaviours of his previous life, “done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms.”
Here, Whitman renounces a life devoted to the conventional pursuit of material success and embarks on the open road, the world before him.
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