The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost Stone House Museum

Robert Frost Stone House Museum, Shaftsbury Vermont

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 marked 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

Academics will tell you that the popular interpretation of this poem as a tribute to non-conformity is wrong, and they are, of course, correct.  But I like the popular interpretation better, regardless of what the actual words say.  So screw them; trying to ruin everything with their fancy “reading“, and their “understanding.”

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2 Comments on “The Road Not Taken”

  1. Gary Wyatt July 30, 2010 at 9:13 am #

    I adore Frost,and I have to admit I love this poem,Brian. I use this poem to teach about poetry with my 5th graders. We talk about what makes a poem a poem,and it always amazes me the perspectives they come up with, on what they think it means, all on their own. I guide them to discuss it,and talk about how poetry is meant to be read aloud,and not silently. It may take me a few times of repeating it aloud, but they end up really getting into it. I also do THE RAVEN, and Poe with them around Halloween. Obviously , aspects of poetry is part of my curriculum that I teach.

    Anyway, I am jealous that you two made it Frost’s home. I need to come to Vermont!
    Have you two been to the little cabin he stayed in when he was in Key West??? I have!

    Happy Trails to you , until me meet again!



    • Brian July 30, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

      I’m a big fan of The Raven. At the risk of showing just how much of a nerd I am, I wrote, and presented, an undergraduate accounting presentation to that poem’s meter. We were instructed to be creative in our presentation. I don’t think anyone ever came up with that one before. No small feat pulling it off, either.

      Shannon tells me we visited Frost’s cottage in Key West, although I don’t remember it. I do remember all of the cats at Hemingway’s place, though.


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