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special-k Song of the Open Road, by Walt Whitman is our inspiration for the 2013 competition season which opened at the 20th Annual Loch Norman Highland games on 20 April 2013. The results of which included 1st place G4, 3rd place G5, 1st place solo bass drumming (John Lovett) and 2nd place 2/4 march (Garret Justice) among others. It was a great day for the Wake & District Program; never an easy day… Throughout life, everyone encounters problems which may not always have an easy way out. Sometimes these paths involve other people who have other expectations but the most important thing to do is stay true to yourself. Walt Whitman himself was probably going through a situation similar to the words in his poems at the time he wrote it. When a person had stress, it is time to take a rest. And when you are at that point when you need to, take the open road.

Relaxation is what this poem expresses. Once you step into this open road, you have all the time by your side. It becomes your decision whether to take this path. When you do decide to take it, all your problems fade away because this relaxing road overwhelms you. Any bad feelings you seem to have change because you no longer feel troubled, stressed, or crowded. You soon feel “strong and content”. Whatever happened in the past, you forget, because once you take the road, you won’t need to know anything except how being free will be like. “I ask not good fortune, I myself am good fortune” Whitman means that when he walks on this road, he doesn’t want luck but because he is care free and cheerful that is his luck.

The theme of this poem is freedom. When a person takes the open road, you feel, “Healthy, free, the world before me.” Being free means being able to do anything you want to do. It means having no troubles upon you and wants nothing except to relax. Having relaxation is being calm, showing no signs of stress. Having both freedom and relaxation takes the troubles from you. When a person takes the open road, it involves making more choices. You have to use what you learned and apply it to the choices to be made. Doing this, you can get better results.

Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Roadis a call to arms, an exhortation to those who are strong enough to join us on the road. For Whitman the journey is the source of poetry, we see it as something larger, as a way of life. What is at stake is more fundamental and universal than literature. The road is a symbol of our mission and resolve which just happens to make for good poetry.

Allons yet take warning — we convince by our presence.

taking-the-field---g4
Wake & District Grade 4 – 1st Place @ Loch Norman

 

grade-5
Wake & District Grade 5 – 3rd Place @ Loch Norman

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