Song of the Open Road

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.

Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, Book VII, Chapter 11, Song of the Open Road


3 Responses to Song of the Open Road

  1. NATASIA MAIZA says:

    mmmmm… im crying while reading….

  2. isabeltipple says:

    My deepest intuition knows this to be the truth.this is indeed the only ‘life’, that of the rolling stone. Sometimes I pick up a beautiful stone from the beach and keep it warm in my pocket for a while, enjoying it’s touch. I may put it to my lips for a while to really appreciate it’s smoothness and saltiness. Eventually though, I do let it go, to be back amongst its fellows. It would be lonely sitting on the mantlepice gathering dust. Who knows, I think, one day you might be a fine glass filled with wine. Do your fellow stones know that from amongst biilions, you were the one picked up today and kissed? I feel myself to be blessed by the encounter. Am I going to remember though, ‘to be as a pebble in the hand of God?’…..

  3. James says:

    Interesting. l love the advice to be generous!



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