Of “What if?”

Ahh, perhaps the most famous of Robert Frost’s poems, simply because it is most experienced by everybody as some point of their lives.

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 ones less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

This was part of the syllabus in the Literature Component for the English 1119 SPM, which is a different paper than the SPM Literature in English paper; the former is a compulsory paper while the latter is an elective.

Some people analysed the poem along the idea of the last two lines of the poem, but really it is the title that the whole message of the poem is about. So it is not about the road the persona took, but rather the road he did not take. Otherwise the title would be The Road Less Taken, and not The Road Not Taken.


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