Study Guide

Song of the Open Road Section 12

By Walt Whitman

Section 12

  • We have another section, and another "Allons!" to kick things off.
  • In this case, the speaker is encouraging you to high-tail it after "the GREAT COMPANIONS."
  • Who are these people, other than lovers of capital letters?
  • We're glad you asked, because we're headed for some detailed description:
  • They're on the road—"swift and majestic men" and the best women (152).
  • They've overcome every obstacle in their way.
  • They're criminals; they're virtuous; they're sailors; they're walkers.
  • They like both calm and rough seas.
  • They come from far-off lands and houses.
  • They trust men and women.
  • They observe cities, work alone, and stop to contemplate things like shells and plants that grow on the shore.
  • They dance at weddings, kiss brides, help children, and even have children.
  • They're soldiers in revolutions; they stand by open graves and lower down coffins.
  • They journey through the years with "their own diverse phases" (moods or stages) (162).
  • They've moved on from their "unrealized baby-days" (163). In other words, they're grown-ups.
  • They're happy to travel in their youth, or with manly beards, or with their womanhood, or even in old age.
  • That old age is made calm and broad by the "haughty" (arrogant) breath of the universe and it flows free because of the nearness of the "freedom of death" (167-168).
  • All these folks are feeling the flow out there on the open road.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...