"The Road Not Taken" is an ambiguous poetry that invites the reader to consider life's options, such as whether to follow the crowd or go it alone. If life is a trip, this poem shows the points at which a decision must be taken. Robert Frost was given credit for writing this piece in his will. However, some scholars believe that he did not write it himself but rather based it on two speeches given by President Theodore Roosevelt.
Frost began writing "The Road Not Taken" in 1919 while working as an editor for the Massachusetts Bureau of Travel Information. The poem first appeared in his collection _A Little Book of Poems_ (1920). Although it is believed that Frost wrote the poem as a tribute to Theodore Roosevelt, who had died the previous year, many critics view it as a more general plea to live your own life instead of following others' paths.
Here is how the beginning of "The Road Not Taken" reads:
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 up my burden and walked along.
This little poem has been interpreted in many different ways over the years.
Frost, Robert However, the poem's title, "The Path Not Taken," concentrates on missed opportunities—the road that the speaker did not pursue. This title, more than anything else in the poem's content, suggests that the poem is about missed chances and the intricacies of choices, rather than merely picking the road that is fresh and new. The poem also alludes to the fact that both roads lead to Rome, but only one is marked with a stone bearing the words "Here Be Dragons."
Dragons were feared creatures in ancient times. They were believed to be far more dangerous than any lion or tiger and were often used as symbols for evil in art and literature. There are two lines in the poem that reference dragons: "So, take the path less traveled by, / And though it lead you down a darkening lane; / Little knowing what lies ahead, / You'll never reach your destination / If you stay on this road!"
This line quotes part of a traditional Chinese proverb that has been translated differently by different scholars. Some have interpreted it to mean that it is better to go down in triumph than up in shame. Others have suggested that life is like a journey and if you stay on one path then you will miss out on seeing everything there is to see. It is also possible that Frost was simply making a joke about traveling down a dark path without knowing what lies ahead.
Robert Frost's poem The Road Not Taken is told by a lone traveler presented with two roads, signifying the journey of life and the decisions we make along the way. It states that we must make our decisions wisely since there is no turning back once we have made a decision. We must proceed in this manner...
The poem is about regret and it's implications when making choices in life. It is believed by some scholars that the speaker in the poem is the author himself describing his experience as he travels down one road and then another before finally coming to a stop at what seems to be a dead end. However, closer inspection reveals that the stopped vehicle is actually facing in the opposite direction of where he thought he was going! Thus, the poem is really saying that even though we may think something is wrong or bad for us, sometimes things work out for our benefit in ways that we could never imagine...
The poem is often used by writers as commentary on their own experiences because they were forced to make difficult decisions which led them on different paths. For example, Albert Camus chose philosophy over journalism because he felt that writing was not enough to say everything there is to say about life. Kierkegaard became an ordained pastor but gave up his position after only a few months because he felt that his vocation was not preaching but rather being a spiritual counselor. Frost himself traveled down one road and then another before stopping at what seemed to be a dead end.