The poet Billy Collins once observed that all babies are born with a knowledge of poetry, because the lub-dub of the mother’s heart is in iambic meter. Then, Collins said, life slowly starts to choke the poetry out of us. This it too bad. With that in mind, i thought i’d post one of my favorite poems that i like to read at the beginning of every new year. It’s Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Road:
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 swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,
I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)
– Song of the Open Road, Walt Whitman