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Song Of The Open Road

Walt Whitman

About The Author

Walter Whitman was an American poet, essayist, and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sensuality. Whitman's own life came under scrutiny for his presumed homosexuality.

Song Of The Open Road.png

About The Poem

Whitman describes the open road “as a metaphorical journey characterized by freedom, independence and affirmations of self, time and place” (Kreidler). During this part, Whitman notices how everything is as it should be. He realizes that along the journey one will face a test of wisdom, but as stated by Kreidler, “Whitman says, ‘not [the wisdom] finally tested in schools’ (92); rather, the wisdom of the soul, revealed through provoking questions, experiences in nature, and experiences along the journey. Further, he avers happiness is the ‘efflux of the soul,’ flowing out, and ‘falls distilled the charm that mocks beauty and attainment’” (143). During part two, Whitman welcomes company along his journey by repeating “the word ‘Allons’ meaning ‘We go’ or ‘Let's go,’” (Kreidler).

Song Of The Open Road

by:  Walt Whitman

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,

Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,


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


I believe that much unseen is also here.

Will you give me yourself?

will you come travel with me?

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

साथ चलोगे क्या तुम मेरे?

Transcreated by
Vineet KKN ‘Panchhi’

चलता हूँ मैं खुली राह पर

नज़रों में मंज़िल भी है,

बढ़ता हूँ अपनी ताल पर

साथ मचलता दिल भी है


अकेला पर आज़ाद

साथ में कोई आए, न आए

राहों से दोस्ती है मेरी

मेरा रास्ता वो,

जो मुझे भाए

मेरी मंज़िल वो,

जिसपे दिल आए

साथ में कोई आए, न आए

चाह नहीं अच्छी क़िस्मत की

लिखता हूँ ख़ुद अपनी क़िस्मत

मुझे भरोसा ख़ुद पर इतना,

मैं ही इरादा, मैं ही हिम्मत

लिखता हूँ ख़ुद अपनी क़िस्मत


मुझको तो चलना है आगे,  

पीछे छोड़ के सब बातों को

चलना धूप में दोपहरी की

चलना सुबह है और रातों को

पीछे छोड़ के सब बातों को

नहीं चाहता चाँद-सितारे,

चाँद-सितारे वहीँ ठीक हैं

मुझको रहना है ज़मीन पर,

मेरे रस्ते यहीं ठीक हैं

चाँद-सितारों का भी क्या है,

कब ये किसी के हो पाए है

इश्क़ जिन्हें है ज़मीं से वो कुछ

ज़मीन में अपनी बो पाए हैं  

चल कर देखा है राहों पर,

यहाँ बहुत कुछ अनजाना है

जो कुछ दिखता है उससे भी,

आगे मुझे निकल जाना है  


साथ चलोगे क्या तुम मेरे?

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