Friday, September 18, 2009

Song of the Open Road

The theme in our homeschooling chorus this year is poetry in music. Now, as many have pointed out, all songs are a form of poetry, but I believe we are concentrating on established poems then set to music. One of the two first songs introduced yesterday was "Song of the Open Road" adapted from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass (1855: Poem #082).

It's a lovely song whose melody I cannot find anywhere right now (but in a few middle school chorus videos), so I will leave you with the words to the first stanza and you can follow this link the remaining fourteen stanzas if you wish.

Song of the Open Road
Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

1
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.

(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens,
I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go,
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,
I am fill'd with them, and I will fill them in return.)

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