Poetry response #1

The Road Not Taken

by: Robert Frost

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.

Date of reading: October 23rd

Source: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-road-not-taken/

Main theme: choices in life

My response: I think this poem presents an interesting philosophical question; when faced with a choice, would it be better to take the one the majority chooses or try the less frequently chosen one? The fact that a lot of people went by one road (in the poem) may signify that that road leads to something better, or is simply a nicer road than the other one. But on the other hand, since a traveller cannot see as far as the end of the road, perhaps the first person randomly chose one road, and then the next traveler saw that someone had already been through it, and reassured that he won’t be walking into the unknown, followed in his footsteps. This way, everyone could have picked the road most travelled because they think it’s a popular road and therefore a good choice – when few had been so adventurous to try the other one. Robert Frost decided that he would take the risk and try something new – I think this demonstrates a good sense of adventure and curiosity.

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2 thoughts on “Poetry response #1

  1. My comment is more for the poem then your understanding of its theme: it does not say HOW his life is different after taking that less-tread path- the implication would seem to be for the better, but I believe it could just as well be for the worse- diverging once again into two optional paths. In one, he is benefited; perhaps choosing the less-travelled road will lead to him making similiar helpful choices throughout his life, or he found a nice leaf to remind him of the choice- or a golden goose, the possibilities are endless. On the other possible end, he meets misfortune; twists his ankle, gets stuck in a crowd, or simply question the futility of his existance as he ‘follows the leader’.

  2. “A man of my acquaintance once wrote a poem called “The Road Less Traveled”, describing a journey he took through the woods along a path most travelers never used. The poet found that the road less traveled was peaceful but quite lonely, and he was probably a bit nervous as he went along, because if anything happened on the road less traveled, the other travelers would be on the road more frequently traveled and so couldn’t hear him as he cried for help. Sure enough, that poet is dead.”

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