Study Guide

Song of the Open Road Section 9

By Walt Whitman

Section 9

  • Our speaker starts this section by throwing some French at us: "Allons!" (116). Translated into English, this means "Let's go."
  • He wants whoever's reading this poem to travel with him. Are you ready?
  • If you go, you'll find "what never tires" (117), like the earth.
  • The earth, says the traveling speaker, "is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first" (118)—just like Nature itself.
  • Give it time, though, he says, because both contain "divine things, well envelop'd," or hidden that are beautiful beyond words (119).
  • Next the speaker wants to get going. No matter how comfy, safe, or welcoming the surroundings might be, it's time to hit the road.
  • It's okay to enjoy the local hospitality for a little while, he concludes, but only for a time. Then it's time to get on the road again. Willie Nelson would approve.

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