From: “Leaves of Grass,” Song of the Open Road

by Walt Whitman


5

From this hour, freedom! 
From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines, 
Going where I list, my own master, total and absolute,
Listening to others, and considering well what they say, 
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, 
Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.    

I inhale great draughts of space; 
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.

I am larger, better than I thought; 
I did not know I held so much goodness.    

All seems beautiful to me; 
I can repeat over to men and women, You have done such good to me, I would do the same to you.    

I will recruit for myself and you as I go;
I will scatter myself among men and women as I go; 
I will toss the new gladness and roughness among them; 
Whoever denies me, it shall not trouble me; 
Whoever accepts me, he or she shall be blessed, and shall bless me.

[for Frank, Leon, & Robert. The photograph of verse in Whitman's hand is not from "Song of the Open Road." I just loved it! The poet searching for the turning word.]

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