Treasure Island

Robert Frost

(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963 / San Francisco)

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
........................
........................
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  • S Phillip Brown (2/24/2014 3:58:00 PM)

    The Road Not Taken
    I have an acquaintance – a PhD in English literature who had a class in college that R Frost attended as guest of honor and lecturer
    Someone in the class asked Frost what he meant by saying:
    I, I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
    Before that statement at end of poem Frost had said essentially that te roads were equaly worn – sat least implies that with these lines:
    “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”
    X
    X
    “I, I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
    There seems to be a conflict or ambiguity as to whether one road was less worn
    The words highlighted if read show et ambiguity on that point:
    The other (road) just as fair
    Yet one road wanted wear
    Yet the passing wore them about the same
    A student asked Frost what he meant by sayiying that taking te road he took (te road less travelled by) made all et difference in his life after that point

    Frost said that he intended to relate that it was the speaker’s decision to take the less traveled road that had made him a success. The purpose to display human arrogance that we all share in thinking that we are masters of our fate and that it was ‘I’ that made choices that made all the difference (Report) Reply

  • Teresa Johnson-mcwillams (2/22/2014 9:35:00 PM)

    I interpret this as a conflict on what choices you have in life. Once you choose your path, but you wish to come back and see what the other choice could have led to, but life keeps you busy and distracted, events occur and you do not make it back. When you are older you look back and see that if you had chosen the other road, your life would have been much different. Reminds me of the old saying, if I knew then, what I know now, But it can also mean you see that you made the right choices and have no regrets. (Report) Reply

  • Rajalekshmi Lambodharan (2/19/2014 9:33:00 AM)

    Defines me. If i wouldn't have taken the less traveled road at a high point in my life - sigh! can't imagine where i would have landed today. (Report) Reply

  • Zach Showgren (2/6/2014 10:46:00 AM)

    I LOVE IT! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! It has great influence on my 13 years of life (Report) Reply

  • Patrick Dennis (2/6/2014 4:25:00 AM)

    Strange the title when it is not what the poem is about. Or is it? The 'sigh' is an expression of regret I think about the road not taken: the choice of one road implies the renunciation of the other - and all its mystery and magic. Was all the difference good or bad? What unspeakable, unimagined and unimaginable destiny our choices portend! So allow an old man his boast: I lived decisively and acted as only the brave can act, trusting sometimes only to gut instinct; I accept the consequences and live steadfast and true. But the old man keeps his sense of irony. TS and Stephen W are right too - probably more right than I am, although I don't accept that the boast is an outright lie. We humans are morally ambivalent - a condition which forms the bedrock of irony. (Report) Reply

  • Nikolai Morskoi (2/1/2014 9:08:00 PM)

    This is perhaps the most beautiful poem I've read about freewill and our ability to choose our destiny, path, or way in life. Another message he attempts to show us through this poem is the irrevocability of our decisions and choices. (Report) Reply

  • Merton Lee (1/26/2014 12:47:00 AM)

    I love the poems of Robert Frost. Their philosophical significance and implications are deep. This poem is delightful and deep and I spent the past one year crafting a poetic response, based on past 30 years of studying, applying and learning from the wisdom literature of the world. I have used the same title The Road Not Taken and hope to share my experiences with readers of poems. Thanks, Merton Lee, Singapore (Report) Reply

  • Rob Wood (1/25/2014 8:20:00 AM)

    This is a great poem. Beautiful, poignant - in a completely different class from Maya Angelou. (Report) Reply

  • Veeraiyah Subbulakshmi (1/19/2014 4:07:00 AM)

    when we involve with the known business and compete with one another, many business have failed, because one out of ten business entities manage to survive after 10 years and we see the red ocean in people's life as these businessmen and their associates are burdened with debt and other emotional issues,
    If we venture into the new business which is less practiced, we may catch many fish in the blue oceans, where the fish are not killed for the survival of others, so the path less traveled can be chosen for our future endeavors.. (Report) Reply

  • Stephen W (12/31/2013 3:48:00 PM)

    Excellent, T S! Thank goodness somebody understands it.
    The reason for wanting to take the less-travelled road is actually the conventional one that 'it...wanted wear'.
    Paths that are untrodden are overgrown and lost to the weeds, so a country person will choose the less-travelled one automatically, to keep it available for the future. However, in this case, there is really no difference. (Report) Reply

  • Douglas Scotney (12/29/2013 6:05:00 PM)

    Longfellow's Hiawatha chose the bark of a tree in a yellow wood on the basis that the tree would not need it, now that summer had arrived, as much as he needed a boat made out of the bark.
    There could be a connection between the yellow woods. (Report) Reply

  • T S (12/29/2013 12:48:00 PM)

    Many seem to be missing the heart of this poem...it is not a glorification of doing your own thing. In fact, the last stanza more or less pokes fun at those who, in reflecting on their lives, do so with false nostalgia about having taken the road less traveled by. If you read it carefully, he says a few times, in a few ways, that the 2 roads were basically the same - he made a choice, based on instinct, to choose one road over the other, and in relating the story acknowledges that later in life he will mythologize his decision as being one that worked for him because he did it his way. See the excerpt below from Frost in Columbia Literary History of the United States. Ed. Emory Elliott. Copyright © 1988 by the Columbia University Press, by Jay Parini:


    A close look at the poem reveals that Frost's walker encounters two nearlv identical paths: so he insists, repeatedly. The walker looks down one, first, then the other, as just as fair. Indeed, the passing there / Had worn them reallv about the same. As if the reader hasn't gotten the message, Frost says for a third time. And both that morning equally lay/ In leaves no step had trodden black. What, then, can we make of the final stanza? My guess is that Frost, the wily ironist, is saying something like this: When I am old, like all old men, I shall make a myth of my life. I shall pretend, as we all do, that I took the less traveled road. But I shall be lying. Frost signals the mockingly self-inflated tone of the last stanza by repeating the word I, which rhymes - several times - with the inflated word sigh. Frost wants the reader to know that what he will be saying, that he took the road less traveled, is a fraudulent position, hence the sigh. (Report) Reply

  • * Sunprincess * (12/24/2013 5:42:00 PM)

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    ...........two roads gives us two choices
    would both deliver the same results.
    the same experiences.......
    And sorry I could not travel both
    ...........and with life we have just one,
    sorry we don't have more than one,
    we should make the best of the one
    we have been given, make the right choices.....
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    ...........think long and hard about your
    choice in life, even pray and meditate
    about your choices.......
    And looked down one as far as I could
    ......contemplate what would be the
    outcome if I made this choice or if I
    made that choice......
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    .......make those dreams happen
    Somewhere ages and ages hence
    : ......then when you make your choice
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
    ..........go for it,
    I took the one less traveled by,
    .........follow that dream
    And that has made all the difference.
    .........live your life and be happy! (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh Rai (12/22/2013 4:11:00 AM)

    I have nothing to comment. Robert Frost is my favorite poet and i have to learn a lot (Report) Reply

  • Billyd Burnett (12/21/2013 8:14:00 PM)

    Robert Frost is the greatest.
    The paths we have traveled and are still traveling.

    From a YAQUI WAY OF KNOWLEDGE by Carlos Castaneda.
    For me there is only the traveling on paths that
    have heart, on any path that may have heart.
    There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge
    is to traverse its full length. And there I
    travel, looking, looking, breathlessly.
    - don Juan (Report) Reply

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