Robert Frost – The Road Not Taken.

The Road Not Taken is one of my all-time favourite Robert Frost poems.  It seems that I always come back to it around this time of the year:

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood, 
And sorry I could not travel both 
And be one traveller, 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 travelled by, 
And that has made all the difference.

The end of the year is traditionally the time when people look back on their past year and think of their future.  It’s a time of reflection and for many, certain anxiety about what the future might bring.  Others still worry about the prospect of choosing the right path.

The strength of this great poem is to remind us that, from where we stand, we can never truly know what lies beyond the bends and through the thick underlay.

What is generally known though is that whichever path is taken, no matter how strong the assurances or claims might be, once you set sail and turn the first corner, the path back soon closes and fades into the dark distance. 

Each path holds within it the promise of a new life.


~ by D on December 21, 2007.

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