The Road Not Taken

In checking out an email notification that I had a new follower on Twitter–Ellen Wade Beals–I came across this Robert Frost poem on her website Solace in a Book. I don’t ever remember finding such depth of meaning in these words of Frost’s, which I had read before–hadn’t I?–so much so that when I read it through for the second time hours later, examining each word with a critical eye, I found no mention of redemption, purpose and soul. Perhaps, like that very first time I read the poem all those years ago, I was reading it with my mind again, and not my heart.


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 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.


Robert Frost

14 thoughts on “The Road Not Taken

  1. Much like you had to re-read the poem that I know I read several times before. With that, I was able to truly visualize being at a fork in road and choose the road that I thought was less traveled. Great post Rossandra!

  2. Visual images can be so compelling. Sometimes I think when we read poetry like this in our youth we don’t have the life experience yet to truly appreciate the deeper meaning. At the young age of 58 – this reads very different! It was refreshing to read again and remember the times I stood at that fork in the road. My choices have made all the difference. Thank you!

  3. It’s not a surprise that this poem is often quoted and shared, it’s so simple and profound at the same time. This is one I often pull out and re-read and am amazed at the nuances I find with each new reading. Today I can say that like Frost, I am happiest when I take the road less travelled. Thanks for starting my new year with this poem, Rossandra.

  4. I’m glad you picked this poem to write about, Rossandra. It had always touched me very deeply. Since I have also sung Randall Thompson’s choral arrangement of this poem many times, I usually hear the music in my mind as I read it. To me it speaks of being true to one’s deeper self rather than following the expectations of others.

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