Open Road: A New Gladness in Iowa City

3 Jan

When I’m on a vacation, be it a month-long backpacking trip or weekend jaunt, each day I plan to leave a section of Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Road. I might leave it in a B&B guestbook, tuck a note behind a hotel painting or write it on a dollar bill I spend at a hot dog stand. In any case, I’ll be tracking where I leave the poem here. I call it The Open Road Project.


I left the twenty-fourth section of the poem nestled in a Bonsai tree at the home of Laurie and Tim, our fabulous hosts for this year’s Frienaissance. It was more hilarious and relaxing than I anticipated, with copious amounts of good food, raunchy jokes and fantastic conversation.  Other than a short trip to walk around downtown, we only left the house for more delicious provisions.

“I will recruit for myself and you as I go, I will scatter myself among men and women as I go, I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them.”

Here’s where the poem has been so far:

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