"Song of the Open Road" is a poem by Walt Whitman from his 1856 collection Leaves of Grass. It has 15 sections, each with 3-4 stanzas.
The poem can be split in two parts, Sections 1-8 and Sections 9-15.
The historical context found in “Song of The Open Road” is describing the westward expansion of the United States, “ an era characterized by the call of adventure and opportunity for those courageous enough make the journey west, i.e. to follow the open road,” (Kreidler). Kreidler discussed how Whitman was greatly influenced by politics and political movements. Using the westward expansion as inspiration in this piece allowed for Whitman’s audience to better understand and relate to this poem.
Whitman also incorporates some religious contexts, like referencing Swedenborgianism. Kreidler explains that, “Swedenborgianism espoused a belief that a spiritual component existed within every living and material being. Swedenborg also believed that