The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost

Robert Frost (1874 – 1963) was a four time Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry. He was born in California where he spent the first twelve years of his life. After his father’s death, moved with his family to Massachusetts where they lived with his grandparents. He met his future wife Elinor White at Lawrence High School where they both attended. He spent his first forty years unknown and  exploded on the scene after returning from England at the beginning of WW1. You can read more about his life here:

The poem The Road Not Taken is about having to make a decision which has to be made, but has no real guidance. In the poem Frost says he would like to take both roads but this cannot be. Once he has decided which road to take he then tries to justify his decision by trying to convince himself that he has taken the right one by saying it was the one less travelled. In truth there was no difference in the roads and he tells himself that one day he will come back and take the other, but knowing in his heart that this would not happen.  The thing is that there isn’t always a right road in life but just the chosen road and the other road.  This poem is also infused with the anticipation of remorse. The sigh is not about wrong decisions but more about the moments of  decisions themselves marking the passing of a life.


The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost

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 traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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