"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 on 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


I have been wanting to include a poetry column for quite some time now, but have been unable to decide how to start it. After thinking about it I decided the poem "The Road Not Taken" fit well.

A traveler comes to a split in a path (of life). Though both paths are the equally the same he decides to take the path which appears to be less traveled thinking that one day he can come back and take the other path. But then acknowledges that he will never come back to that impasse again. The last stanza is for the reader to interpret for himself or herself. I interpret the last stanza as in the future the traveler will sigh and look back deciding if he made the correct decision. But he knows there is a difference in his life that would not have been if he took the other path.

The poem makes me look back to the time when I decided to be different from the individuals around me. I took the road less traveled and decided to dress in lolita. With a sigh, I look back at my decision and know it has definitely lead to a difference in my life than if I had chosen "the road not taken".

4 comments:

Princess Tsuki said...

I read this poem back then in junior high! I think it's so beautifully written, it easily flows through my mind and gets its message across just as easily.

By the way, I added you to Twitter - I'm LillieCharlotte. I've followed PL for eons but never dared to comment or had anything interesting to say. So here I am!

Lady Kristen said...

Princess Tsuki:
Thank you for following my blog and twitter! Comments are always welcome. Do not feel daunted to ever leave a comment. It shows me that someone out there actually likes to read PL.

I love Robert Frost. This poem and Fire and Ice have always been some of my favorite poems.

Anonymous said...

When asked to interpret by Frost himself, the last stanza, he concluded that the sigh was actually a sigh of regret. He had wished to take the other path.

Anonymous said...

Okay, this is probably the most misinterpreted poem of recent years. If you read the poem carefully it clearly states that both paths are "really about the same" (Line 10). The last stanza, when taken out of context, is often taken to mean something completely different.

This poem isn't really about branching off and "being different" by doing your own thing. It's actually a pretty dark poem about fate and the abstract passage of time, ie. Things actually would have been exactly the same no matter which path the speaker chose, yet, the speaker wants to make himself believe that he made the right choice. (Though there was no real difference.)

Sorry - and I really don't mean to sound rude - but this was bothering me as a fellow lover of poetry! :)