Although commonly interpreted as a celebration of rugged individualism, the poem actually contains multiple different meanings. The speaker in the poem, faced with a choice between two roads, takes the road "less traveled," a decision which he or she supposes "made all the difference. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler. 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. Select any word below to get its definition in the context of the poem.
The words are listed in the order in which they appear in the poem. Acquainted with the Night. After Apple-Picking. Fire and Ice. Mending Wall.
Robert Frost: “The Road Not Taken”
Nothing Gold Can Stay. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Editions can help. LitCharts Teacher Editions. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of every Shakespeare play. Sign Up. Already have an account?Look Inside.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. When he was ten, his father died and he and his mother moved to New England.
He attended school at Dartmouth and Harvard, worked in a mill, taught, and took up farming,… More about Robert Frost. Sign in. Read An Excerpt. Aug 18, ISBN Add to Cart. Also available from:. Available from:.
Paperback —. Also in Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition. Also by Robert Frost. Product Details. Inspired by Your Browsing History. American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century. Frost: Poems.The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost (Powerful Life Poetry)
Robert Frost. James Weldon Johnson. Leaves of Grass. Walt Whitman. Leaves of Grass and Selected Poems and Prose. Emerson: Poems. Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Shakespeare: Invention of the Human. Harold Bloom. The Dead and the Living.
The Complete Poems. The Best of Archy and Mehitabel.The majority of Frost's poems are written in the first-person form with a common narrator.
Although the narrator in each of these poems is not necessarily the same, there are always aspects that relate to Frost's own voice. Many of the poems have autobiographical elements for example: "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," "Acquainted with the Night," "Mending Wall," and "The Lockless Door"which automatically create a sense of Frost's personality. The common themes of depression, isolation, and melancholy, relating directly to Frost's personal struggles with depression and loneliness, also reveal Frost as the primary inspiration for the "narrator.
At times, however, Frost clearly detaches himself from the character of the "narrator" as a way to provide ironic commentary on the overall meaning of the poem. For example, in "The Road Not Taken," the first three stanzas can be seen as directly linked to Frost's own voice, but the final stanza in which Frost ironically mocks the narrator's sudden nostalgia for the past has Frost swiftly pulling out of the poem's character in order to highlight his hypocrisy to the reader.
At first, the neighbor is presented as a throw-back to earlier times, clinging to the old-fashioned habit of maintaining the property line simply for the sake of tradition. Whenever the narrator asks him to justify his habit, the neighbor says only: "Good fences make good neighbors. Mary, Warren's wife, is presented in a more compassionate light than Warren in terms of her treatment of Silas. She believes that people should help those in need, whether they deserve it or not. Although she understands that Silas did not fulfill his obligation to the farm, Mary still wants to help him and suspects that he returned to the farm to die.
She convinces Warren to let Silas stay. Warren, Mary's husband, is presented as more rational and realistic than Mary. He gave Silas several chances to prove himself as a farmhand, but each time was disappointed by Silas' unreliability. When Silas returns to the farm, Warren does not feel that he has any obligation to the former farmhand because Silas did not uphold his end of the bargain.
At Mary's urging, Warren eventually agrees to let Silas stay on the farm. Silas is an unreliable farmhand who has worked for Mary and Warren several times in the past. After a long period of absence, Silas returns to the farm and asks Mary and Warren to let him work for them again.
In actuality, Silas is returning to the farm to die. Although it is suggested that he has a wealthy brother, Frost makes it clear that Silas prefers to have his last moments with Mary and Warren because of their kindness and compassion. Because Silas dies by the last line of the poem, it seems likely that he knew that he would be too sick to work at the farm.
Yet, out of pride or perhaps embarrassmentSilas does not beg Warren and Mary for a place to die, but instead suggests the more honorable bargain of a room in exchange for work. A former farmhand for Warren and Mary, Harold worked with Silas on the hay harvest four years before and was immediately at odds with him because of his interest in education. Although Harold studied Latin and music and ultimately went to college, Silas maintained that all of his education was worthless because Harold could not find water with a hazel prong.
After the death of her child, the wife is inconsolable and blames her husband for seeming to be apathetic about their loss. She is particularly resentful of him for not appearing to understand why she cannot yet move on with her life.
Although her husband begs her to stay and communicate with him, the wife is unable to see past her grief to salvage the relationship.
At the beginning of the poem, the husband seems to be largely apathetic about the death of his child, but it soon becomes clear that he simply expresses his grief in a different way. While his wife mourns outwardly, gazing endlessly at the child's grave, the husband uses physical labor specifically, the act of digging a grave as a way to mourn.
The husband has a difficult time communicating with his wife, but he does attempt to make an effort to save their marriage by empathizing with her. In this poem, the old man is a representation of complete isolation. Lacking the memory to recall former happiness, he has no past or future and does not even remember why he is in this house during the winter.
However, despite his lack of identity, the old man clings tenaciously to his identity in terms of his existence in the house. He is alone, but he is nevertheless unwilling to give up his claim on the present and thus becomes a model of courage and the human spirit. Frost characterizes the boy as a young man who is forced to do a man's work, even though he is a child at heart.Sign in with Facebook Sign in options. Join Goodreads. Want to Read saving….
Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. When the frosty window veil Was melted down at noon, And the caged yellow bird Hung over her in tune, He marked her through the pane, He could not help but mark, And only passed her by, To come again at dark. He was a winter wind, Concerned with ice and snow, Dead weeds and unmated birds, And little of love could know. But he sighed upon the sill, He gave the sash a shake, As witness all within Who lay that night awake.
Perchance he half prevailed To win her for the flight From the firelit looking-glass And warm stove-window light. But the flower leaned aside And thought of naught to say, And morning found the breeze A hundred miles away. Mountain Interval. 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; 5 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, 10 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. No one would know except for ancient maps That such a brook ran water. Kuambil yang jarang dilalui orang. The fault must partly have been in me. The bird was not to blame for his keys. And of course there must be something wrong In waiting to silence any song.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that had made all the difference. But Thought has need of no such things, For Thought has a pair of dauntless wings. On snow and sand and turf, I see Where Love has left a printed trace With straining in the world's embrace.
And such is Love and glad to be. But Thought has shaken his ankles free. Thought cleaves the interstellar gloom And sits in Sirius' disc all night, Till day makes him retrace his flight, With smell of burning on every plume, Back past the sun to an earthly room.When they went walking together, Thomas was chronically indecisive about which road they ought to take and—in retrospect—often lamented that they should, in fact, have taken the other one.
Out walking, the speaker comes to a fork in the road and has to decide which path to follow:. In his description of the trees, Frost uses one detail—the yellow leaves—and makes it emblematic of the entire forest. Defining the wood with one feature prefigures one of the essential ideas of the poem: the insistence that a single decision can transform a life.
The yellow leaves suggest that the poem is set in autumn, perhaps in a section of woods filled mostly with alder or birch trees. The leaves of both turn bright yellow in fall, distinguishing them from maple leaves, which flare red and orange. One forest has replaced another, just as—in the poem—one choice will supplant another. The yellow leaves also evoke a sense of transience; one season will soon give way to another. The syntax of the first stanza also mirrors this desire for simultaneity: three of the five lines begin with the word and.
After peering down one road as far as he can see, the speaker chooses to take the other one, which he describes as. Frost then reiterates that the two roads are comparable, observing—this time—that the roads are equally untraveledcarpeted in newly fallen yellow leaves:. Decisions are nobler than whims, and this reframing is comforting, too, for the way it suggests that a life unfolds through conscious design. However, as the poem reveals, that design arises out of constructed narratives, not dramatic actions.
This line initiates a change: as the speaker shifts from depiction to contemplation, the language becomes more stilted, dramatic, and old-fashioned. This tonal shift subtly illustrates the idea that the concept of choice is, itself, a kind of artifice. Thus far, the entire poem has been one sentence. The neatness of how the sentence structure suddenly converges with the line structure this sentence is exactly one line echoes the sudden, clean division that choice creates. As the tone becomes increasingly dramatic, it also turns playful and whimsical.
Whichever road he chooses, the speaker, will, presumably, enjoy a walk filled with pleasant fall foliage. Some, now paved over, are used as highways, remnants of a culture that has long since vanished and been supplanted by another. Frost wrote this poem at a time when many men doubted they would ever go back to what they had left. Indeed, shortly after receiving this poem in a letter, Edward Thomas's Army regiment was sent to Arras, France, where he was killed two months later.
When Frost sent the poem to Thomas, Thomas initially failed to realize that the poem was mockingly about him. Instead, he believed it was a serious reflection on the need for decisive action. He would not be alone in that assessment.
Keating, played by Robin Williams, takes his students into a courtyard, instructs them to stroll around, and then observes how their individual gaits quickly subside into conformity.
Far from being an ode to the glories of individualism, however, the last stanza is a riddling, ironic meditation on how we turn bewilderment and impulsiveness into a narrative:. Again, the language is stylized, archaic, and reminiscent of fairytales.
The act of assigning meanings—more than the inherent significance of events themselves—defines our experience of the past. The fairytale-like language also accentuates the way the poem slowly launches into a conjuring trick. Its triumph is that it does travel two emotional trajectories while cohering as a single statement.
We cannot tell, ultimately, whether the speaker is pleased with his choice; a sigh can be either contented or regretful. When the road failed to yield the hoped-for rarities, Thomas would rue his choice, convinced the other road would have doubtless led to something better. It is about what the poem never mentions: the choice the speaker did not make, which still haunts him.
The poem moves from a fantasy of staving off choice to a statement of division. What is clear is that the act of choosing creates division and thwarts dreams of simultaneity.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. Why does everyone always miss that the two paths were both as travelled by? This poem is about how we have a tendency to romanticise our pasts. Aha my kind of philosophy. In other words if you dont try you will never. Yes you try something and fing its your calling. Except the last stanza there's not much to speculate about.
The typical country flavour of the West. Time for you to read some truly great poetry, not this idiot's doggerell; start with Shakespeare's sonnets, then read Wiliam Blake then Emily Dickinson, Edgar Poe, Tennyson, Yeats, Dylan Thomas, Wordsworth, then go back and look at the facile simplistic excreta written by this egotistical versifier who makes Leonard Cohen look talented.
This idiot of a poet should not be on the list of anyone's favourite poets except those who share his ignoriance. I am a universty student and I work n my part time just 2 to 3 hours a day easily from home.
I experience masses freedom now that i'm my non-public boss. I've started this job and earn handsome income and now i am exchange it with you, so you can do it too. You can check it out here She has been with out artwork for five months however final month her charge emerge as Dollars really on foot on the internet for some hours.
Such an expressive poem!
Robert Frost: Poems Character List
I could read it over and over several times a day and never absorb all of its truth. The best ever and the truth ever so extraordinarily authored will haunt us time and again Robert Frost 1 on top poets. Search in the poems of Robert Frost:.The first edition of the novel was published inand was written by Robert Frost.
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Hamilton by Laurell K. It's always fun to read Robert Frost books. Add a review Your Rating: Your Comment:. Selected Poems by Robert Frost. A Lick of Frost by Laurell K. Glory Road by Robert A. Seduced by Moonlight by Laurell K. A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K.