You may perhaps be aware of this poem by New England poet Robert Frost, for it is often quoted and often misunderstood. But that doesn’t lessen its impact. I read this first as a student, and it has stayed with me since. In our lives we all face a choice at times, a forked path, take the left or the right? And so rightly this poem is thought fondly of at times of indecision, choice and how the uncertainty of the future. It speaks to everyone, I think, to poetry lover and poetry novice.‘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
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.
If you know someone who loves the woods, and nature, and being outside, then buy them an edition of Frost’s verse; it is easily-accessible and full of truths. This edition [below] is my own copy from university.
To listen to The Road Not Taken, read by David Garrison for The Poetry Foundation, click here.
Above is my beautiful Penguin copy of Frost’s Selected Poems, dating from my university days.
‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost [UK: Penguin Classics]
Read these other excerpts and find a new poet to love:-
‘Forgetfulness’ by Hart Crane
‘Poems’ by Ruth Stone
‘Happiness’ by Stephen Dunn
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A #poem to read in the bath: ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1LY via @SandraDanby
My friend referred to it in her speech at my book launch I certainly identify with his thoughts. So expressive.
What a lovely thing to do. SD
She gave a lovely speech, which included a quote from Yeats . . . “tread softly, for you tread on my dreams . . .”.
🙂 SD x
I have always loved this poem too, Sandra 🙂