Why did we pick the name Grand Roads Executive Search?
The name for our retained executive search firm from a poem by Walt Whitman called
“Song of the Open Road”.
In this poem, Whitman talks about the “progress
of the souls of men and women along the grand roads
of the universe”. For our clients, and for the
candidates whom we work with, we hope to make your
journeys more productive, interesting and successful.
From the ‘Song of the Open Road’
by Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
From this hour I ordain myself loos’d
of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master, total and absolute,
Listening to others, and considering well what they
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself
of the holds that would hold me.
I inhale great draughts of space,
The east and the west are mine, and the north and
the south are mine.
I am larger, better than I thought,
I did not know I held so much goodness.
All seems beautiful to me;
I can repeat over to men and women, You have done
such good to me, I would do the same to you.
I will recruit for myself and you as I
I will scatter myself among men and women as I go;
I will toss the new gladness and roughness among them;
Whoever denies me, it shall not trouble me;
Whoever accepts me, he or she shall be blessed, and
shall bless me.
Here is the efflux of the Soul;
The efflux of the Soul comes from within, through
embower’d gates, ever provoking questions;
These yearnings, why are they? These thoughts in the
darkness, why are they?
Why are there men and women that while they are nigh
me, the sunlight expands my blood?
Why, when they leave me, do my pennants of joy sink
flat and lank?
Why are there trees I never walk under, but large
and melodious thoughts descend upon me?
(I think they hang there winter and summer on those
trees, and always drop fruit as I pass;)
What is it I interchange so suddenly with strangers?
What with some driver, as I ride on the seat by his
What with some fisherman, drawing his seine by the
shore, as I walk by, and pause?
What gives me to be free to a woman’s or man’s good-will?
What gives them to be free to mine?
The efflux of the Soul is happiness--here
I think it pervades the open air, waiting at all times;
Now it flows unto us--we are rightly charged.
Here rises the fluid and attaching character;
The fluid and attaching character is the freshness
and sweetness of man and woman;
(The herbs of the morning sprout no fresher and sweeter
every day out of the roots of themselves,
than it sprouts fresh and sweet continually out of
Toward the fluid and attaching character
exudes the sweat of the love of young and old;
From it falls distill’d the charm that mocks beauty
Toward it heaves the shuddering longing ache of contact.
Allons! whoever you are, come travel with
Travelling with me, you find what never tires.
The earth never tires;
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first--Nature
is rude and incomprehensible at first;
Be not discouraged—keep on—there are divine
things, well envelop’d;
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful
than words can tell.
Allons! we must not stop here!
However sweet these laid-up stores—however convenient
this dwelling, we cannot remain here;
However shelter’d this port, and however calm these
waters, we must not anchor here;
However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us,
we are permitted to receive it but a little while.
All parts away for the progress of souls;
All religion, all solid things, arts, governments—all
that was or is apparent upon this globe or any globe,
falls into niches and corners before the procession
of souls along the grand roads of the universe.
Of the progress of the souls of men and women along
the grand roads of the universe,
all other progress is the needed emblem and sustenance.
By permission of Messrs. Appleton
and Co., New York.
Nicholson and Lee, eds. The Oxford Book of English
Mystical Verse. 1917.