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2.1 Song of the Open Road class 12

Song of the Open Road

Brainstorming of Song of the Open Road

(A1) (i) Pick out the lines showing that the poet is prepared to enjoy every moment 
of his journey.
(ii) By ‘old delicious burdens’ the poet means-
 (a) the luggage
 (b) the food he carries
 (c) the stress he bears during the travels
 (d) sweet memories of the past
(iii) The poet is a person who is free from all inhibitions. Discuss how the 
concept of ‘freedom’ is expressed in the poem.

(A2) (i) Following are the activities of the poet related to his journey on the road. 
Divide them into two parts as ‘activities the poet will practise’ and 
‘activities he will not practise’.
(a) Walking along the road though he does not know where it reaches
(b) Complaining about the discomforts during the journey
(c) Postponing the journey
(d) Praying for good fortune
(e) Carrying the fond memories of the good people
(f) Creating contacts with famous and influential people
(g) Striving to achieve high and bright success
(h) Reflecting and developing his own ‘self’
(ii) Write down the traits the poet exhibit through following lines. One is done
for you.
(a) Henceforth, I ask for no good fortune-I myself am good fortune :
(b) Henceforth, I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing-
(c) I do not want the constellations any nearer-
(d) I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them-
(e) I am filled with them – I will fill them in return-
(iii) 'Healthy, free, the world before me'.
Express your views regarding the above line.
(A3) The poet has used many describing words such as 'healthy' in this poem.
Make a list and classify them as -
(a) For the world
(b) For himself
(c) For the road
(A4) (i) Read the expression ‘old delicious burdens.’ A burden cannot be delicious. 
The poet has used this combination of words to express that he has many 
sweet memories of the people and places which he would like to remember 
forever. The poet has used seemingly contradictory expressions to convey 
the meaning that his heart is full of sweet memories of good and kind 
people. Though he wants to be free from any type of attachment, he wants 
to cherish these sweet memories in his heart forever.

The expression contains opposite ideas that make it seem absurd or 
unlikely, although it may be true. This is called ‘Paradox.’ 
(ii) The road in the poem does not mean only the road to travel. The poet 
wants to suggest the road of life. Explain the metaphor with the help of 
the poem. 
(iii) Free Verse: Free Verse is a poetry that does not rhyme or have a regular 
rhythm. The features of Free Verse are- 
 It is a literary device that is free from limitations of regular metre or 
rhythm, does not rhyme with fixed forms, and still it provides an artistic 
expression. In this way, the poet can give his own shape to a poem as he 
desires and can use various poetic devices to create the effect he considers 
suitable for the piece.
 As Free Verse gives greater freedom for choosing words and conveying 
their meanings to readers, it is free from artificiality of a typical poetic 
expression. This technique is commonly used in modern poetry. 
 Remember -
(a) Although Free Verse requires no metre, rhyme or other traditional poetic 
techniques, it is the use of internal pattern of sounds, the choice of exact 
words and their chosen places are the factors which attribute the Free 
Verse, its lyrical or rythmic beauty.
 (b) Free Verse is completely different from ‘Blank Verse’ which essentially has 
to occur in iambic pentameter. Blank verse is poetry written with regular 
metrical but unrhymed lines. It is described as 'the most common' form of 
English poetry which has been influential since the 16th century.
(iv) There are certain words that are repeated in the poem. 
 For example, ‘no more’ (Line 7). 
 Find out other similar expressions. Explain the effect they have created in 
the poem. 
(v) The use of personal pronoun 'I' is evident and prominent in this poem. 
Give reasons.

(A5) (i) With the help of the following points, write a poetic appreciation of the 
poem ‘Song of the Open Road’.

• About the poem / poet and the title 
• The theme 
• Poetic style
• The language/ poetic devices used in the poem
• Special features
• Message, values, morals in the poem
• Your opinion about the poem
(ii) Write four to six lines of Free Verse on the topic ‘The road that leads to
my college’. Express that it is the road to knowledge and bright future.
You may begin like this: Every day I tread with the bag of books …
(iii) Write a blog on the following topic.
(a) Man is free by birth.
(iv) Expand the ideas suggested in the following lines:
(a) All roads lead to Rome.
(b) A man without liberty is a body without a soul.
(A6) (i) Take help from the sources available on the internet and make a list of 
proverbs and quotations about ‘road.’
(ii) Read the poem ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost.

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