The Road Not Taken

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.

Source  :

Robert Frost’s “most famous and celebrated poem” captured my heart as a scholar. Mind you, it was read to us by a teacher who was passionate about English literature.  This teacher set out to convince his students that English poetry was marvellously moving and I was enraptured, in the poem, poet and the narrator (who became my first crush and the epitome of high standards), but I digress…

As the words flowed then, I felt myself transported to that autumnal wood and could feel myself weighed by indecision. Which road? What would guarantee the better output?  Years later, I invited that same teacher to my wedding and he was appalled at what he perceived to be, a wrong decision.  A decade later, we met again and I felt that mental sweeping evaluation and grudging approval.

Often, we are at crossroads in life and ponder the dilemmas. The fact is we do not know.  What we need to do though, is make a choice, is take the road, chance it and make that road work for you.

As a person who loves road-tripping, with a husband, just as passionate about road trips, we take the roads travelled but are also very partial to those off the beaten paths and were richer for it. Not many people understand it and we were slated for it, we worried less about their reactions and finally ceased explanations.

We went, we saw, our hearts were conquered.  Again, very symbolic in the manner of choosing our pets, we chose the runt of the litter, the rescues and strays and had added such value to our lives. The point being, we made a choice, decisions that we made work for us and are grateful, richer and blessed for it.

Did you know that Robert Frost’s personal life was beset by grief and loss. He lost his Dad at 11 to tuberculosis, his mother to cancer. It is said that the Frost family suffered from depression. Only four of his six children survived whilst his wife developed breast cancer and passed quite young of heart failure. No wonder he was able to plumb the depths of his soul to write so realistically of rural life that he had to have escaped into for peace of mind.  Such was the success of his work that he received not one but four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry and became known as one of America’s rare “public literary figures, almost an artistic institution.”

Reference  :  Wikipedia
Image Credit  :

53 thoughts on “The Road Not Taken

  1. My favorite poem and also the inspiration for the story of my life. Yes, I have made some choices that seemed right at that moment in time but turned out so not right later, but that is how life is supposed to be lived right? If everything was known to us, where is the mystery in living?? I still live by Frost’s words and I know that is what will always make the difference! Thank you for this post! For reminding there are more of my tribe out there! May you make more such choices and never regret any of ’em!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have always loved Robert Friday m Many years ago, grandfather, now deceased, did extensive work on our ancestry. I remember him telling me we were related to him but I have no idea how many “times removed”. Maybe that is why where my creativity comes from. It would be nice to think that. I, too, have always gone the road less traveled. I didn’t want the comfortable route and preferred more surprises along the way

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kavita, this poem has as special place in my life. When I first came here to the USA, my husband read this poem to me. He said, ” Bushra that’s how I met you. I didn’t want to take the ordinary road so I took the road less traveled. I sometimes want to write about that but then I think let leave the too personal things aside. I love your descriptions BTW. Going to pin it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful poem and powerful image Kavitha. Striving to always take the road less travelled. It gives the journey a real sense of uniqueness and who knows it might lead to destinations beyond our dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Robert Frost had a knack for beautiful, descriptive language that is unparalleled. We have this one framed and on the wall outside my husband’s office. I also really love the eye-catching image you used for your post! Very fitting of the imagery the poem invokes. It sounds like you had an excellent literature professor 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is my favourite poem. I remember reading this countless times and pondering. Oh the choices we make at the crossroads of life.

    And aren’t the most grieved souls abundant with the best words. A paradox!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I must say, I do like that particular poem of Frost’s. Then again, we do share the same surname.
    My thoughts return to my childhood
    When I did stroll in blubelled wood
    To wander there and play with joy
    Oh how I wish to be a boy…..again
    Those carefree days are far behind
    But still some day I hope to find
    Those freedom days of times gone by
    Sun dappled woods and cloud free sky
    And woodland birds would sing so sweet
    Blend in with the crunching ‘neath our feet
    Of Autumn’s leaves of brown and gold
    Idyll dreams and stories never told
    Is it wrong to yearn for times we’ve lost
    For roads less traveled shared with Frost.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you Kavita for liking my blog post over at A Sweeter Life, I love this poem, Robert Frost is one of my favorites. “Often, we are at crossroads in life and ponder the dilemmas. The fact is we do not know. What we need to do though, is make a choice, is take the road, chance it and make that road work for you.” We never know, do we? we just need to take that leap. Happy Holiday

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Each of our decisions in life lead to more decisions and lead us through this maze we call life. Only after can we look back and see where our decisions led us through that maze. There is a Hopi symbol, I’Toi or Man in the Maze that speaks to this. Thank you for bringing the most favorite poem back to us! Namaste.

    Liked by 1 person

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