Poetic appreciation


  Poetic Appreciation                                             4 Marks

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


About the poem / poet: The poem ‘Song of the Open Road’ is narrative poem which centers on the quest for freedom, It has been taken from ‘Leaves of Grass’ written by Walt Whitman who was an American poet, essayist and journalist. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon and is often called ‘The Father of Free Verse.’. This poem is a beautiful blend of human feelings. Title of the poem: The title of the poem is significant and appropriate because the road signifies mobility and freedom.

 Poetic Style and theme: The poem, ‘Song of the Open Road’ is separated into four separate stanzas. With the exception of the first stanza, which contains only three lines and the other stanzas contain four lines. The poem utilizes free verse, means it has no regular rhyme. It has unique arrangements of words and different lengths. It is told from the first-person point of view. Walt Whitman strongly advocates importance of free life, optimism & Freedom which is the major themes of this poem.

Poetic devices: The poem is written in free verse. The poet uses here simple poetic devices such as Alliteration, Repetition, Antithesis, Inversion, Paradox, Tautology, Metaphors etc. He employs Metaphor comparing road to ‘the road of life.  The poet makes use of symbols like constellation and brown road. He also uses many phrases like light hearted, querulous criticism etc.

Special features: The poem is written in very simple and effective language. Which is easy to understand and it creates an impact on the readers. It is written in first person narration. As it is written in free verse, it doesn’t have rhyme scheme. The use of brackets in fourth stanza is a typical feature of the poem that makes the stanza more remarkable.

Message/other:  It is a didactic poem (moral giving poem) which teaches us that we should be optimistic and happy. It motivates and encourages us to enjoy freedom. I like this poem because it gives us a new attitude to look at life and should not live the routines of ordinary life.

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