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 Family Friend Poems has made every effort to respect copyright laws with respect to the poems posted here. And it is, in most respects, a normal piece of smartly assembled and quietly manipulative product promotion. It is a poem about the necessity of choosing that somehow, like its author, never makes a choice itself—that instead repeatedly returns us to the same enigmatic, leaf-shadowed crossroads. Somewhere in the back of his mind will remain the image of yellow woods and two equally leafy paths. His honesty is a reality check as well as a means of making a final decision.
Frost intended the poem to be a semi-serious mockery of people like Thomas, but it was taken more seriously by Thomas, and by countless readers since. And an attempt to evaluate all decisions only as correct or incorrect, complicates the path. But the hero of the poem does not even strive to appreciate this future. The syntax of the first also mirrors this desire for simultaneity: three of the five lines begin with the word and. The entire piece is a metaphor for choices in life. Nevertheless, such an opportunity is present, but only in the present. 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.
According to Frost, the poem was about his very close friend Edward Thomas, a fellow writer and eventual poet in his last years who Frost got to know very well during his time in England in the early 20th century. There are two roads in an autumnal wood separating off, presumably the result of the one road splitting, and there's nothing else to do but to choose one of the roads and continue life's journey. With no reason to choose one road over the other, the traveler takes one, then consoles himself that he will simply come back another time and see where the other road goes… before admitting that in this thought he was really just trying to fool himself once again, as he had tried to do previously by attempting to convince himself one path was less traveled than the other: Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet he knows it is unlikely that he will have the opportunity to do so. Some, now paved over, are used as highways, remnants of a culture that has long since vanished and been supplanted by another. The fork is a metaphor for a life-altering choice in which a compromise is not possible. After peering down one road as far as he can see, the speaker chooses to take the other one, which he describes 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. Instead, he believed it was a serious reflection on the need for decisive action.
The fairytale-like language also accentuates the way the poem slowly launches into a conjuring trick. Ultimately, the reader is left to make up their own mind about the emotional state of the speaker at the end. On the other hand, if the poem is reviewed, it is quite obvious that it has fairly the opposite connotation. He would not be alone in that assessment. .
For these readers, Frost is a mainstay of syllabi and seminars, and a regular subject of scholarly articles though he falls well short of inspiring the interest that Ezra Pound and Wallace Stevens enjoy. This is a personal favorite—a simple yet iconic reflection on a major, life-changing shift in one's life. Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. The speaker is in two minds. You see, while it may come as a shock to those of us that had a habit of occasionally nodding off in school, the poem has more than just three lines, and the true meaning of most of it is fairly obvious if you just read the entire thing all the way through.
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. Or perhaps he would have spent many years writing incredible poetry that was the hallmark of the last couple years of his life- happily living and working next to his great friend, Robert Frost. His way with words was quite simple, yet profound and easy to imagine one's self deciding what path to travel down or feeling the experience of Stopping By Woods On a snowy Evening. Both ways are equally worn and equally overlaid with un-trodden leaves. We experience this literally: in the roads we take and the routes we walk on a daily basis, and figuratively: when we come to points in our lives where we must make decisions for our next steps, based on the opportunities presented to us.
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. Here is what is read by a voice-over artist, in the distinctive vowels of New Zealand, as the young man ponders his choice: 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! His wife died in 1938 of heart failure following breast cancer. And he admits that someday in the future he will recreate the scene with a slight twist: He will claim that he took the less-traveled road. Analysis This last stanza really highlights the nature of our regrets. You felt deep in your bones what Frost was trying to convey. Then, the poet reaches a fork in the road.
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. On April 9, 1917 during the battle of Arras in France, he was shot in the chest and killed- a death that was seemingly premature. He's encountered a turning point. This line initiates a change: as the speaker shifts from depiction to contemplation, the language becomes more stilted, dramatic, and old-fashioned. One does wonder at times, on life's journey, what taking a different road might have led to. Life offers two choices, both are valid but the outcomes could be vastly different, existentially speaking.
He became woefully ashamed of what he perceived as his cowardice in the matter. The poem has a convenient form for perception, and its images are accessible to the widest circle of people. Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. We're human, and our thinking processes are always on the go trying to work things out. The second event that influenced his decision was something he often lamented after in letters. It is about what the poem never mentions: the choice the speaker did not make, which still haunts him.