You’re a Poet

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, 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 travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

It takes me ages to understand the meaning of a poem – probably because there could be 20 different meanings or interpretations. But just from the last two sentences of this one ‘I Took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference’  I think Robert Frost (author) is trying to tell us that conformism is not the way to go.. i like it.

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4 thoughts on “You’re a Poet

  1. I thought this poem was more about making decisions. He couldn’t tell which of the two paths to take. He was also unsure if anyone had traveled through each before “And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black.”

    However, once he made the decision there was no turning back “Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.”

    Thus defining his destiny

  2. Yeah i agree it’s definitely about decisions – but i got a sense that one of the two paths looked more appealing and taking the ‘one less travelled by’ turned out to be surprisingly good

  3. Its a tricky poem, thats for sure.
    “the passing there / Had worn them really about the same.” “that morning lay / In leaves no step had trodden black.”

    Neither of the roads is less traveled by.

    I don’t understand how this poem has been misconstrued and bastardized by the mainstream into a chiffon version of carpe diem fluff. I don’t think of it as an ‘inspiring’ piece of hallmark entertainment. it’s pretty existential in my view: you can’t judge the path you took until your life has panned out accordingly; at which point, there is no basis to compare what would have happened had you taken the other path. Futile exercise.

  4. I think this particular poem is difficult to categorise as it seems to contain some paradoxical/ironic statements. On the surface I do agree that it is about non-conformism but it appears as though there is a warning in the middle. I think Frost is too smart to make a general statement like ‘Don’t do what everyone else is doing’, or a cliche statement like ‘take the road less travelled’, without inserting some sort of proviso somewhere, as an injection of realism. Afterall, on a long enough timeline,if everyone chose not to conform to what is socially acceptable, aren’t they indirectly conforming to this new/hip reality?

    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.

    This part here is what I was referring to when I mentioned that there exists a warning or a proviso of some sort. It seems like he is saying that there are great similarities between the roads or paths that you choose to take.It even seems like he is telling the reader to lighten up about the decision making process by undermining its significance. More importantly I think what he is trying to say is that no decision should ever derived solely from the need to make a statement (non-conformism) to yourself or to society.

    Though the end seems very obviously structured, i.e him saying that taking the road less travelled by has made all the difference and thus championing non-conformism, I am having to doubt his sincerity. Perhaps the many tragedies he faced in his life made him find solace in accepting that he had a preshaped destiny, thus enforcing his view on how little we have to do with shaping our lives. Maybe I am ‘taking the road less traveled’ here, and please note that I do think he is being genuine, but I have a strong feeling that the last two statements are a with cynicism and irony. Maybe it’s a combination of the sigh with the celebration of the right(abnormal) choice in the end. I am sorry if I am not making any sense, but I love Robert Frost, and I am severely, monumentally intoxicated right now.
    Love
    H

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