Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
--Robert Frost

This is a very famous poem. I think what I like about it is the abstract nature of most of it. Where was he going? Was he just walking through the woods to enjoy nature, or did he have a destination? Did he get somewhere different because of the different road, or just see different trees? Was he wandring lonely as a cloud and happened to find the daffodils because he went the right way -- or is that the road that everyone else took and he missed them? Why won't he be back there again? What was "all the difference?" Was it good or bad? He doesn't say. He doesn't say that being completely different than everyone else is the path to happiness. He doesn't say that conformity is good. He lets you decide for yourself.

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