If life is a journey, this poem highlights those times in life when a decision has to be made. Which way will you go? External factors therefore make up his mind for him. Robert Frost wrote this poem to highlight a trait of, and poke fun at, his friend Edward Thomas, an English-Welsh poet, who, when out walking with Frost in England would often regret not having taken a different path.
When they went walking together, Thomas was chronically indecisive about which road they ought to take and—in retrospect—often lamented that they should, in fact, have taken the other one. Out walking, the speaker comes to a fork in the road and has to decide which path to follow: 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 … In his description of the trees, Frost uses one detail—the yellow leaves—and makes it emblematic of the entire forest.
Defining the wood with one feature prefigures one of the essential ideas of the poem: The yellow leaves suggest that the poem is set in autumn, perhaps in a section of woods filled mostly with alder or birch trees. The leaves of both turn bright yellow in fall, distinguishing them from maple leaves, which flare red and orange.
One forest has replaced another, just as—in the poem—one choice will supplant another. The yellow leaves also evoke a sense of transience; one season will soon give way to another. The syntax of the first stanza also mirrors this desire for simultaneity: After peering down one road as far as he can see, the speaker chooses to take the other one, which he describes 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.
As soon as he makes this claim, however, he doubles back, erasing the distinction even as he makes it: And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Decisions are nobler than whims, and this reframing is comforting, too, for the way it suggests that a life unfolds through conscious design.
However, as the poem reveals, that design arises out of constructed narratives, not dramatic actions. This line initiates a change: This tonal shift subtly illustrates the idea that the concept of choice is, itself, a kind of artifice.
Thus far, the entire poem has been one sentence. The neatness of how the sentence structure suddenly converges with the line structure this sentence is exactly one line echoes the sudden, clean division that choice creates.
As the tone becomes increasingly dramatic, it also turns playful and whimsical. Whichever road he chooses, the speaker, will, presumably, enjoy a walk filled with pleasant fall foliage. Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.
Some, now paved over, are used as highways, remnants of a culture that has long since vanished and been supplanted by another. Later he imagines roads when people are absent: They are lonely For lack of the traveller Who is now a dream only.
Now all roads lead to France And heavy is the tread Of the living; but the dead Returning lightly dance.
Frost wrote this poem at a time when many men doubted they would ever go back to what they had left. When Frost sent the poem to Thomas, Thomas initially failed to realize that the poem was mockingly about him. Instead, he believed it was a serious reflection on the need for decisive action.
He would not be alone in that assessment. Keating, played by Robin Williams, takes his students into a courtyard, instructs them to stroll around, and then observes how their individual gaits quickly subside into conformity. 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.
Again, the language is stylized, archaic, and reminiscent of fairytales. The act of assigning meanings—more than the inherent significance of events themselves—defines our experience of the past.For over three generations, the Academy has connected millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world; caninariojana.com, the Academy’s popular website; American Poets, a biannual literary journal; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events.
What Gives Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” Its Power? On the th anniversary of the poem’s publication, a Smithsonian poet examines its message and how it encapsulates what its. This poem does not advise.
It does not say, “When you come to a fork in the road, study the footprints and take the road less traveled by” (or even, as Yogi Berra enigmatically quipped, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it”). Frost’s focus is .
One of the most celebrated poets in America, Robert Frost was an author of searching and often dark meditations on universal themes and a quintessentially modern poet in his adherence to language as it is actually spoken, in the psychological complexity of his portraits, and in the degree to which his work is infused with layers of ambiguity and irony.
The different ways of reading a classic American poem Read More. Read More. More Poems by Robert Frost.
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The Witch of Coos. By Robert Frost. The Flower-Boat. By Robert Frost.
Feb 17, · "The Road Not Taken" is an ambiguous poem that allows the reader to think about choices in life, whether to go with the mainstream or go it alone. If life is a journey, this poem highlights those times in life when a decision has to be caninariojana.coms: 8. Sep 11, · Everyone knows Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”—and almost everyone gets it wrong. Frost in From The Road Not Taken: Finding America in the Poem Everyone Loves and Almost Everyone Gets Wrong, a new book by David Orr. Robert Frost: Poems Summary and Analysis of "The Road Not Taken" () Buy Study Guide The narrator comes upon a fork in the road .
At Woodward's Gardens. The Road Not Taken By Robert Frost About this Poet. Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken" has proven to be a poem that lends itself to increasingly many and very different caninariojana.com common interpretation is that the poem is a metaphor.