The Road Not Taken
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, 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,
that has made all the difference.
About the Poet- Robert Frost
About the Poet- Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet. His work was initially published in England before it was published in the United States. Known for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech, Frost frequently wrote about settings from rural life in New England in the early 20th century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes.
The Road Not Taken - Summary
The Road Not Taken is a well-known poem about making choices in our life. The choices we make shape us. In the poem, the road symbolizes our life and the path that we don’t choose is “the road not taken”. The poet describes his life experience and says that long ago he had two choices to make. He had chosen one and moved ahead with it. Now, if he wants to make another choice, he can’t do so. The message the poet wants to convey is that the choices we make significantly impacts our future. If we make the wrong choice, then we can’t go back and correct it. We will have no option other than regretting it. So, we should be wise enough while making a decision or choices in our life.
The Road Not Taken - Question Answers
1. Where does the traveller find himself? What problem does he face?
Ans:- The traveller finds himself in a wood where two roads are diverged.
He faces the problem of which of the two roads to choose to carry on his journey.
2. Discuss what these phrases mean to you.
i. A yellow wood
ii. It was grassy and wanted wear
iii. The passing there
iv. Leaves no step had trodden black
v. How way leads on to way
i. A yellow wood:- a forest that has turned yellow due to the advent of autumn.
ii. It was grassy and wanted wear:- it was covered with grass and no one had walked over it.
iii. The passing there:- the number of people that had walked over the path.
iv. Leaves no step had trodden black:- leaves that no one had stepped upon (as they discolour when trod upon).
v. How way leads on to way:- how one road often leads to another.
3. Is there any difference between the two roads as the poet describes them?
i. In stanzas two and three?
Ans:- In stanzas two and three, the poet says that both the roads were almost equally inviting. He says, both the paths seemed to have been used equally and that morning the leaves on the roads lay un-trodden.
ii. In the last two lines of the poem?
Ans:- In the last two lines of the poem, the poet claims that the path he chose had been less travelled by.
4. What do you think the last two lines of the poem mean? (Looking back, does the poet regret his choice or accept it?)
Ans:- As he looks back, I think the poet accepts the choice he made and adds colour to it by claiming that he took the path that was less travelled and for this reason he had found success, though he himself earlier says that both paths were “just as fair” and “the passing there had worn them really about the same”.
5. Have you ever had to make a difficult choice (or do you think you will have difficult choices to make)? How will you make the choice (for what reasons)?
Ans:- Yes, all of us at some stage of our life have to make difficult choices.
When faced with such a choice, I would evaluate the pros and cons of each choice and maybe talk to someone who has had made the same choice or gone through something similar. Sometimes there is no chance of turning back after making a choice and so I would decide properly after evaluating all the pros and cons of my decisions and not choose just on a whim. In this way I hope to avoid blindly going down one path and realizing I have made a mistake when it is too late.
6. After you have made a choice do you always think about what might have been, or do you accept the reality?
Ans:- It is human nature to think about what might have been. But I try my utmost to not to dwell on the past, and instead to focus more on future. I try to make the best of what I have and accept the reality.