Notes on Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman (a poem Std 12 English)
Vocabulary, Paraphrase, Activities
light hearted- खुशाल चेंडू, हलका
afoot – पायी on foot
Path- रस्ता road
good fortune – भाग्य
whimper- रडका स्वर काढणे
postpone- काम पुढे ढकलणे
querulous – विचित्र
criticism – टीका
sufficient- पुरेशी enough
constellation – नक्षत्र
delicious – रुचकर sweet
burdens – ओझे
to get rid of – च्या पासून सुटका करणे
Paraphrase of Song of the Open Road
The poet takes to the open road readily and enthusiastically. He intends to travel the healthy and free world. He chooses the long path to travel. He believes in the journey rather than destination. He does not believe in luck. He considers himself good fortune. He does not postpone his journey. He keeps away all the complaints and criticism. He is strong and content enough to travel the open road. The earth is sufficient for him to live a life. He does not hope any higher thing. He carries with him old sweet memories of wherever he goes. He is filled with memories and he owes gratitude to the good people.
कवी सहज आणि उत्साहाने मोकळ्या रस्त्यावर जातो. निरोगी आणि मुक्त जगाचा प्रवास करण्याचा त्यांचा मानस आहे. तो प्रवासासाठी लांबचा मार्ग निवडतो. गंतव्यस्थानाऐवजी प्रयत्नावर त्याचा विश्वास आहे. नशिबावर त्याचा विश्वास नाही. तो स्वत: ला सौभाग्यवान मानतो. तो आपला प्रवास पुढे ढकलत नाही. तो सर्व तक्रारी आणि टीका दूर ठेवतो. तो मुक्त रस्त्यावर प्रवास करण्यास सक्षम व समाधानीआहे. पृथ्वी त्याला जीवन जगन्यास पुरेसी आहे. त्याला कुठल्याही उच्च वस्तूची अपेक्षा नाही. तो जिथे जिथे जाईल तिथे जुन्या गोड आठवणी त्याच्या बरोबर घेऊन जातो. तो आठवणींनी भरलेला आहे आणि चांगल्या लोकांबद्दल कृतज्ञ आहे.
BRAINSTORMING on Song of the open Road by Walt Whitman
(A1) (i) Pick out the lines showing that the poet is prepared to enjoy every moment of his journey.
Ans: The following lines shows that the poet is prepared to enjoy every moment of his journey.
“Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune. “
(ii) By ‘old delicious burdens’ the poet means-
(a) the luggage
(b) the food he carries
(c) the stress he bears during the travels
(d) sweet memories of the past
Ans: (d) sweet memories of the past
(iii) The poet Walt Whitman is a person who is free from all inhibitions. Discuss how the concept of ‘freedom’ is expressed in the poem.
Ans : The poet expressed the concept of freedom in this poem. He wants to go on voyage without destination. He wants to on an unending journey. He wants to be free from indoor complaints and criticism.
(A2) (i) Following are the activities of the poet related to his journey on the road.
Divide them into two parts as ‘activities the poet will practise’ and‘activities he will not practise’.
(a) Walking along the road though he does not know where it reaches
(b) Complaining about the discomforts during the journey
(c) Postponing the journey
(d) Praying for good fortune
(e) Carrying the fond memories of the good people
(f) Creating contacts with famous and influential people
(g) Striving to achieve high and bright success
(h) Reflecting and developing his own ‘self’
|Activities the poet will practise||Activities the poet will not practise|
|(a) Walking along the road though he does not know where it reaches||(b) Complaining about the discomforts during the journey|
|(e) Carrying the fond memories of the good people||(c) Postponing the journey|
|(h) Reflecting and developing his own ‘self’||(d) Praying for good fortune|
|(f) Creating contacts with famous and influential people|
|(g) Striving to achieve high and bright success|
(ii) Write down the traits the poet exhibit through following lines. One is done for you.
(a) Henceforth, I ask for no good fortune-I myself am good fortune : Self-confidence
(b) Henceforth, I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing- Self – satisfaction
(c) I do not want the constellations any nearer- Competent
(d) I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them- Kinship
(e) I am filled with them – I will fill them in return- Gratitude
(iii) ‘Healthy, free, the world before me’.
Express your views regarding the above line.
Ans: The poet is of the opinion that the world is healthy attracting him. He wants to be free from all bonds and travel the world.
(A3) The poet Walt Whitman has used many describing words such as ‘healthy’ in this poem.
Make a list and classify them as –
(a) For the world: healthy, free
(b) For himself: light hearted, strong, content
(c) For the road: open, brown, long
(A4) (i) Read the expression ‘old delicious burdens.’ A burden cannot be delicious.
The expression contains opposite ideas that make it seem absurd or unlikely, although it may be true. This is called ‘Paradox.’
(ii) The road in the poem does not mean only the road to travel. The poet wants to suggest the road of life. Explain the metaphor with the help of the poem.
Ans: The poet wants to lead the life without hoping any fortune, assistance and complain. He is strong and content enough to lead his own life in his way.
(iv) There are certain words that are repeated in the poem Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman.
For example, ‘no more’
Find out other similar expressions. Explain the effect they have created in the poem.
good-fortune, the open road, carry them
The repetition of such words added musical effect in the poem and turned the poem into a song to be sung with a particular instrument. It also stressed the idea the poet wants to assert.
Activity Sheet No. 1
Read the extract (The Poem Song of the Open Road) and do all the activities.
A1. Complete the following statements. 2
1. The poet takes to the……….. road.
2. The world before the poet is ……. and …….
3. The poet does not ask for………
A2. Pick out the lines that show the poet’s fearlessness and self confidence.
A3. The road associates rich and poor. Explain.
À4. “I myself am good fortune.” Name and explain the figures of speech. Give another similar example.
A5. Write four poetic lines on The Road to School.
1. The poet takes to the open road.2. The world before the poet is free and healthy.3. The poet does not ask for good fortune.
A2 fearlessness – Henceforth, I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothingself confidence – Henceforth, I ask for no good fortune- I myself am good fortune
A3. The road associates the rich and the poor. Both the rich and the poor use same road. The road is used as a starting point for the journey to a new destination. The road takes the rich as well as the poor to their destination.A4. Metaphor : The poet implicitly compares himself with good fortune. Another example of Metaphor : open road- here road means the road of life.
A5. The Road to School
The road to school is muddy.
But joyful to walk with buddy.
On it we walk, run and ride cool.
The road takes me to school.
A1. Pick out the two lines which describe the phrase ‘good fortune’.
Ans: 1. Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good fortune
2. Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing. These two lines describe the phrase ‘good fortune’.
A2. Still here I carry my old delicious burdens’. Give reasons for this statement.
Ans: The poet believes in moving from one place to another. He argues against staying at one place for too long despite of hospitality. But he carries the memories of the people wherever he goes. It is impossible for him to get rid of them.
A3. (Poetic Device)Name and explain figure of speech used in the following line. ‘The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.’
Ans: 1. Alliteration : The consonantal sound ‘b’ is repeated pleasingly. 2. Personification : The path is given the human quality of taking the poet to his destination.
A4. Express your own views regarding the following line. ‘Song of the open road’
Ans: Through the title of the poem the poet indicates free will, self awareness and tenderness of soft heart. Life is like a open road. We live a life like singing a song. The road symbolizes mobility. It is open to all men and women, rich and poor.
A5. Compose four lines on ‘Journey of Life’ by using rhyming words (Poetic Creativity) of.
Ans: Get on a boat in morn
Row it and get a corn
Store not more than you need
Journey of life is not for greed.
Read Indian Weavers Std 12 English
Write a poetic appreciation of the poem ‘Song of the Open Road’ with the help of the following points.
- · About the poem / poet and the title
- · The theme
- · Poetic Style
- · Language /Poetic devices
- · Special features
- · Message, values, morals in the poem
- · Your opinions about the poem
The poem ‘Song of the Open Road’ is taken from ‘Leaves of Grass’ by Walt Whitman. It is a beautiful blend of human feelings. It enlightens us with the poet’s self-realizations about the journey of life. Walt Whitman, an American poet, is often called as ‘The Father of free verse’. The title of the poem is significant and apt. The road signifies mobility.
The poem is about self-awareness, free will and tenderness of heart. Staying in one place for too long stagnates the life.
The poem is free verse. It has no regular rhyme and rhythm. It has unique arrangements of words and lines. Three to five lines together make meaning (Complete sense).The poem is enriched with the poetic devices such as metaphor, alliteration, repetition and paradox. These poetic devices add musical and pictorial effect. People should take the road as point to start over towards something new. The journey of life should be mobile and always on the road to move on.
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