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The Road Not Taken Poem
The Road Not Taken” is a narrative poem by Robert Frost, first published in the August 1915 issue of the Atlantic Monthly and later included in the 1916 poetry collection, Mountain Interval
The poem is known for its central theme of divergence of paths and the idea of choosing one’s own path
The speaker in the poem faces a choice between two roads and ultimately takes the road “less traveled,” which they believe has made all the difference
The poem is set in a yellow wood, where two roads diverge. The speaker expresses regret that they cannot travel both paths and be one traveler, so they choose the grassy, less worn path
Although the two roads appear to be equally worn down, the speaker doubts whether they will ever return to the first path. The poem concludes with the phrase “I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence,” suggesting that the choice made will have a lasting impact on the speaker’s life
While the poem is often interpreted as a celebration of rugged individualism, it actually contains multiple different meanings. The subtle ambiguity in the poem leaves it unclear whether the speaker’s judgment is about their simple but impactful choice or about how they interpret a choice whose impact is unclear
This ambiguity allows for various interpretations, making the poem a complex and thought-provoking piece of literature.
The Road Not Taken
“The Road Not Taken” is a famous poem by Robert Frost. Here it is:
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.