Study Guide

Song of the Open Road Section 17

By Walt Whitman

Section 17

  • The final section begins with a final "Allons!" Once again, the speaker's calling us onto the open road.
  • "Don't worry," he's essentially saying, "it's safe. I've tried it with my own two feet. So don't wait. Put the pen down, leave that book on the shelf, leave your tools in the shed, and forget about earning money. Let's get rolling."
  • The speaker goes on to recommend ditching school, even, as well as blowing off church and the legal proceedings.
  • "Mon enfant!" ("My child!") he says. He's giving "you" his hand and his love, which is more precious than money.
  • In fact, he's ready to give you himself, putting "you" above preaching or law.
  • So… would you do the same for him? Will you go traveling with him on the open road?
  • Will you two stick together for the rest of your lives?
  • Well, Shmoopers… will you?

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