By Walt Whitman

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.)

An extract from Walt Whitman's'Song of the Open Road'.Read the full poem here.

Inspired by Whitman's poetry and Jack Kerouac's jazz-inspired hymn to freedom,On The Road,we've put together a literary journey across the United States of America.

Our road trip in books takes us from the East to West coast and back again, stopping off withMark Twain,Cormac McCarthy and Toni Morrison along the way.

>>>Take a literary road trip with us

Life lacking in poetry? Get our Friday poem straight to your inbox every week.