The Road Not Taken

White Horse Lookout trail

Cathryn on the White Horse Lookout trail above Waimate, New Zealand

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 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.

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3 comments for “The Road Not Taken

  1. Anita
    April 8, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    I read this poem as part of the eulogy I gave for one of my brothers. The “road less travelled” was his creed and, although he passed away at the age of 41, he had lived a life of adventure and joy of discovery. Since his passing I also endeavor to take that less travelled road and it has made all the difference!

  2. April 8, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    It does make all the difference. My brother died at 64. I was on a ship in the middle of the ocean, heading to a different hemisphere. So I sent my part of the eulogy from one of the ports of call, knowing he’d have wanted me to continue the trip. The poem I sent was one from Mary Oliver, “When Death Comes” (from her New and Selected Poems). It ends with this line: “I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.” When we take the less-traveled road, as he had done, we are not just visitors.

  3. Maggie
    April 12, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I feel like I’ve loved this poem all my life. I have a copy of it under the blotter on my desk. If we look at the poem as a metaphor for life we see that we don’t always need to take the accepted perspective.

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