Frost: Woodland Scene


"The Road Not Taken," is another favorite poem about woodlands and paths by the master poet Robert Frost (published 1916).

Frost known best for his effortless grand poem "Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening," manifests in this poem another teaching insight about life.

In the first lines of the first paragraph:

"Two roads diverge in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both..." shows roads that branch out or move apart in a beautiful wood. The traveler is watching how far it can go to where it bends in the undergrowth

The color "yellow" is a bright color, perhaps showing the sun rays, but fading in the winding path of travel, as far as the eyes can see from a distance.

The traveler takes one road, just as fair as the other.
Perhaps as he finds it comfortable and likeable, as perhaps the better claim.

The leaves, as trampled by steps has dried and has been trodden black connote damage/bleakness and/ or firmness.

"Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back."

During the walk, the traveller also thinks of going back, and what might be in the other road, and still doubts, yet in anyway, moves on.

And he chooses: Telling it with a sigh, and how agonizing and hard it could be, back then. A sigh symbolizes hardship and pain. And oftentimes, suspiration is giving out energy to take another big chance of breath (the opposite of expiration, which means coming to an end).

Yet in his choice, as the traveller crossed the uneasy paths (less traveled), as steadfast as not returning; facing life bravely makes all the difference. Generally, the choice of roads symbolizes one of life's most important decisions.

The rhymes sound so sad, as in the sound of "o" and "d". And the atmosphere as the woodland scene, far from the city, is the real path of life and journey of ages (birth to old age). Also, that peace in the woodland is a soul alone longing for light coming from above, the yellow wood, the yellow sun, guides a way in whatever choice be made.

The road not taken is not meant to be, but the road of one's choice proves a responsibility of living it to the fullness.
Moreover, the poet could give as much meaning as he claims, as the ambiguity (poet's conceit). Some say it was a gentle jab for a friend or could be a personal irony for a letter.

All in all, thank you Sir Robert Frost!

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